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Employment Laws to be aware of this year – changes coming into force in 2024

Reasons to choose Wilson Browne

2024 will see some key changes in the workplace with several new employment laws coming into effect.

It is important that all employers are aware and prepared for these changes and understand what they mean for your business.

National Minimum Wage (NMW) - 1 April 2024

From 1 April 2024, the following rates will apply:

  • For over 23s: £11.44 per hour (increased from £10.42)
  • For 21-22: £11.44 per hour (increased from £10.18)
  • For 18-20: £8.60 per hour (increased from £7.49)
  • For under 18s: £6.40 per hour (increased from £5.28)
  • The Apprentice rate: £6.40 per hour (increased from £5.28) – this rate applies to those under 19 or people over 19 in the first year of their apprenticeship.

It’s important to be mindful of those instances where breaches of NMW occur unintentionally (such as unpaid travel time, not paying for training/trial shifts, and deductions of wages to cover uniform costs).

Please see our checklist which can help you identify if you might be at risk of a breach of the NMW: Do you comply with the National Minimum Wage? (NMW) (wilsonbrowne.co.uk)

Employment Relations (Flexible Working) Act 2023 - 6 April 2024

Changes to the right for employees to request flexible working arrangements come into effect on 6 April 2024; the key change being the right to make such a request from day 1 of employment.

Previously, employees were only able to request after 26 weeks of service.

Another change relates to the number of requests that can be made; it now gives employees the right to request flexible working twice in a 12-month period (it currently has a once-a-year limit).

To prepare for the change, Flexible Working Policies should be revisited to ensure compliance with the changes to the law.

Carers Leave Act 2023 - 6 April 2024

This Act grants a new right – employees will be entitled to to apply for up to one week of unpaid carer’s leave in any 12-month period.

This is a day 1 right.  Find out more in our article here

The Maternity Leave, Adoption Leave and Shared Parental Leave (Amendment) Regulations 2024 - 6 April

These regulations will extend the existing redundancy protection to:

  • pregnant women,
  • new parents who have recently returned from a period of maternity or adoption leave, and
  • new parents who have recently returned from a period of shared parental
  • leave which lasted six weeks or more.

To find out more on the key amendments of this Act, and what this means for employers, see our in-depth article here

Employment (Allocation of Tips) Act 2023 - May 2024

This new legislation, which will ensures a fair allocation of tips and service charges, will mean a significant change to the hospitality industry. The new law will require employers to:

  • pass the entirety of any tips and service charges received to its staff without any deductions;
  • have a written policy on how it deals with tips, and
  • keep records of all tips and service charges received for 3 years.

The Workers (Predictable Terms and Conditions) Act 2023 - September 2024 (expected)

This Act introduces a new right for workers to request a more predictable working pattern.

This will have significant implications for employers who engage atypical and agency workers.

Employers will need to implement a process for handling these applications.

For more information on this new statutory right, see our article

The Worker Protection (Amendment of Equality Act 2010) Act 2023 - October 2024 (expected)

The Worker Protection (Amendment of Equality Act 2010) Act 2023 will place all employers under a statutory duty to take reasonable steps to prevent sex harassment in the workplace.

The introduction of this change should act as a prompt for employers to consider what steps they are already taking to prevent harassment from arising within their organisation and to review and update policies and training as necessary.

If you are unsure of how any of these changes will affect your business, we have a fantastic offer that you can benefit from – potentially saving time, money, and even reputational damage with our free review of contracts of employment and staff handbooks.

Amy Lee

Posted:

Amy Lee

Paralegal

Amy is often the first point of contact for clients of the employment team.