As we embark on a new year, businesses are gearing up to navigate a landscape of evolving employment laws. With significant amendments on the horizon, it’s key for employers to stay informed and proactive to ensure compliance and seamless adaptation.

Let’s have a look at the five key changes that will impact businesses in 2024.

1. Holiday Pay Realignment

Part-year and irregular-hour workers will see a shift in their holiday entitlement calculation. Moving away from the fixed entitlement of 5.6 weeks for each worker, which can lead to inequality in comparison with part-time workers, entitlement will now be determined by a proportional calculation based on hours worked.

Employers have the option to provide rolled-up holiday pay to their irregular hours and part year workers, which will become lawful from the start of the employer’s leave year post-April 1. This change calls for a review of current methods to ensure compliance and effective communication with employees.

2. Employment Relations (Flexible Working) Act 2023:

This act introduces significant amendments to employees’ rights regarding flexible working requests. The allowance for two requests per 12 months and day-one eligibility signal a notable departure from previous regulations.

Employers must adapt policies and procedures to accommodate the shortened evaluation timeframe of two months and ensure effective consultation with employees to navigate these changes successfully.

3. The Carer’s Leave Regulations 2024

Employees providing care for dependents with long-term needs gain the right to one week of unpaid leave annually. While the direct impact on employers may seem limited, it underscores the importance of updating policies and providing support to affected employees.

4. Minimum Wage Increases

April 1 heralds the implementation of a new National Minimum Wage (NMW) with substantial rises across age brackets. Employers must factor these increases into their financial planning to ensure preparedness and compliance.

5. Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2006 (TUPE) Simplification:

Changes to TUPE transfer requirements streamline the process for smaller employers, eliminating the need for elected employee representatives in certain scenarios. This simplified process calls for a review and adjustment of management processes for businesses frequently involved in TUPE transfers.

As 2024 unfolds, further adjustments are on the horizon, including maternity leave, adoption leave and the Worker Protection (Amendment of Equality Act 2010) Act 2023. It’s essential for employers to gain a thorough understanding of these changes and seek advice on how to implement them as soon as possible. By staying informed, updating policies, and providing necessary support to employees, employers can stay ahead and ensure a smooth transition throughout the year.

If you would like Shakespeare Martineau to help you or your business navigate through any of these changes, feel free to get in touch below on our contact form.

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Nick has over 25 years experience of working in Bristol as a specialist employment lawyer, dealing with all aspects of employment law. Whilst he predominantly acts for business owners, employers and senior executives he also assists employees with the difficult issues that they can face in their employment. He has extensive experience of advising employers on the strategic employment law issues affecting their businesses, including TUPE, redundancy, collective consultation, executive severance and HR support.

He also advises on employment law aspects of business acquisitions and conducts employment law litigation in the courts and employment tribunals, with particular interest in defending claims. Nick is a Member of the Employment Lawyers Association, Bristol Law Society and is Company Secretary of the West of England Aerospace Forum.

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Published: 14th February 2024
Area: Employment

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