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Employment Contracts & Recruitment
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Employment & HR

April 2024 Employment Law update

Primed Team
5 April 2024 10 minutes

There's a range of new employment laws coming in April 2024, businesses need to be aware of them and make any necessary changes to stay compliant. The regular statutory increases also apply from April.

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Carer’s Leave – 6 April 2024

From 6th April 2024, employees will have the right to take “statutory carers leave”.

In order to be eligible for statutory carer’s leave, an employee will have to be providing care for a dependent who has:

  • a physical or mental illness or injury that means they’re expected to need care for more than 3 months;
  • a disability; or
  • care needs because of their old age.

A dependent does not have to be a family member – it can be anyone who relies on your employee for care.

Employees who qualify for this leave will be able to take it flexibly throughout the year, but can only take a maximum of one week of unpaid leave a year. For example they could take one week in a single stint, or up to one weeks’ worth of odd days here and there.

An employee who wishes to take carer’s leave has to give their employer a minimum amount of notice; either double the amount of time they request to take off, or three days – whichever is longer.

An employer will not have the right to refuse a carer’s leave request, but if the leave would seriously disrupt business operations then they may be able to postpone it.

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Flexible Working – 6 April 2024

From 6th April 2024, the rules around flexible working will change.

Employees will now have the right to make a flexible working request from day 1 of their employment, rather than having to have 26 weeks of employment prior to having the right to request flexible working under the old regime.

Employers will now also be obliged to respond to flexible working requests within a 2 month time frame, as compared to 3 months previously.

Finally, the new legislation permits employees to make two statutory flexible working requests in any twelve month period – whereas previously, they were only permitted to make one.

Extended Redundancy Protections – 6 April 2024

Currently, employees on maternity leave have more rights and protections against redundancy than other members of staff.

The Protections from Redundancy (Pregnancy and Family Leave) Act 2023, the provisions of which come in to force on 6 April 2024, provides for greater protections against redundancy during pregnancy and on return to work from maternity leave, adoption leave and shared parental family-related leave.

The new provisions extend the redundancy protection period so that it applies:

  • for pregnant employees, from the point they inform the employer that they are pregnant; and
  • for employees returning from maternity leave, adoption leave or shared parental leave, until 18 months after the expected week of childbirth, date of the child’s birth, or date of the adoption placement.

During the extended protected period, such employees have the right to be offered suitable alternative employment in a redundancy situation.

Statutory Maternity, Paternity, Adoption, Shared Parental Leave increases

The Paternity Leave Amendment Regulations 2024, which will apply in all cases where the expected week of childbirth falls on or after 6 April 2024, allows for paternity leave to be split in to two blocks of one week, and which can be taken at any point in the first year after the birth or adoption of a child.

Fathers or partners of babies born before 6 April 2024 are only able to take one continuous block of paternity leave (or either one or two weeks) within the first eight weeks after birth.

The new regulations also introduce a change to the notice period required for each period of leave that a father or partner wishes to take, which has been shortened to 28 days.


Significant holiday changes

Under current legislation, an employer must give holiday pay at the time that a member of staff actually takes annual leave. Employers have not been permitted to include holiday pay in a member of staff’s hourly rate (also known as “rolled-up holiday pay).

However, as of April 2024, that position has changed. It will now be possible to roll-up holiday pay for irregular hours workers and part-year workers.

Types of worker

An irregular hours worker is someone whose number of paid hours that they will work in each pay period during the term of their contract is, under the terms of their contract, wholly or mostly variable.

A part-year worker is someone who, under the terms of their contract, is required to work only part of that year and there are periods within that year of at least a week which they are not required to work and for which they are not paid (for example, teachers).

Calculating Holiday Entitlement

For leave years beginning on or after 1 April 2024, holiday entitlement for irregular hours workers and part-year workers will be calculated in hours (not weeks) and will accrue at the rate of 12.07% of the hours worked in a pay period.

For example, if an employee is paid on a monthly cycle (that being the pay period), and in that month they work 100 hours, they will also have accrued 12.07 hours of holiday in that pay period.

On occasions where workers are on sick leave or other statutory leave, holiday entitlement will be calculated by reference to a 52-week period – allowing an employer to work out the average hours worked in that 52 week period by the employee, and then multiplying that average by 12.07% to calculate how many hours of holiday accrued in the period of sick or other statutory leave.

Rolled-up holiday pay

Furthermore, for leave years beginning on or after 1 April 2024, employers will have the option to pay irregular-hours or pat-year workers holiday pay that is rolled-up with their normal pay. Essentially, this gives that employer the ability to include an additional amount within every payslip to cover a worker’s holiday pay; instead of paying for holiday when a worker actually takes leave.

For example, if an employee is paid on a monthly cycle (that being the pay period), an employer can then uplift the worker’s normal pay that month by 12.07% and clearly itemise it as being “holiday pay” on their payslip (regardless of whether the worker actually took holiday or not in that pay period).


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