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Employment law changes from April 2024

As we head into the new tax year, employers and HR professionals face a raft of new legislative employment law changes to be aware of. To keep you up to date with all the latest changes, we have summarised the key updates you should be aware of this April.

Changes taking effect in April 2024

1 April 2024 – Holiday

Changes to the Working Time Regulations taking effect on 1 April 2024 will change the way holiday pay can be calculated:

    • Holiday accrual for irregular-hours and part-year workers can be calculated on 12.07% of the hours worked in the previous pay period.
    • For workers on sick leave or other family-related leave, accrual will be based on average working hours over a 52-week reference period (for leave years starting on or after 1 April 2024).
    • Rolled-up holiday pay for irregular-hours and part-year workers is permissible (for leave years starting on or after 1 April 2024).

Some changes already in effect from 1 January 2024 include:

    • Simplified record-keeping requirements. You must keep “adequate” records, but not necessarily a full record of all daily working hours.
    • Carrying over holiday to the next leave year is permitted where an individual has been unable to take the leave (such as due to sickness or family leave), codifying retained EU law.

From 4 April 2024 – Immigration skilled worker pay rate

    • The general annual salary threshold for new skilled worker applications will increase from £26,200 to £38,700 for applications made on or after 4 April 2024.
      • The “going” hourly rate will also increase from £10.75 to £15.88 per hour.
    • The Shortage Occupation List is being scrapped and replaced by the new Immigration Salary List.

From 6 April 2024 – Family friendly rights

    • The Carer’s Leave Act 2023 introduces a new entitlement of up to one (working) week’s unpaid leave in every 12 months for employees who care for dependents with long term needs.
    • Maternity Leave, Adoption Leave and Shared Parental Leave (Amendment) Regulations 2024
      • The protection from redundancy during pregnancy begins as soon as an employee tells their employer they are pregnant.
      • If the employee is not entitled to statutory maternity leave then the protected period ends two weeks after the pregnancy ends.
      • The protection during relevant leave will last for 18 months from the date of birth/adoption placement in most cases, and it will continue even if the employee returns to work.
      • The new rules will apply to any pregnancies notified to the employer on or after 6 April 2024 and any maternity leave ending on or after 6 April 2024 and any adoption / shared parental leave starting on or after 6 April 2024.
    • Paternity Leave (Amendment) Regulations 2024
    • Fathers and partners will now be able to split their paternity leave and pay into two separate one-week periods. They will also be able to take their leave and pay at any time in the first year after their child is born or adopted (rather than the first 8 weeks)

6 April 2024 – Flexible working

    • The following key changes to flexible working requests come into effect:
      • The right to request flexible working becomes a day one employment right.
      • Employees won’t have to explain how their request may affect the employer or what can be done to mitigate the effect of their request.
      • Employees can make two requests (instead of one) in any 12-month period.
      • Employers won’t be able to refuse a request unless the employee has been consulted.
      • Without an agreed extension, employers will have to make a decision in two months (previously three months).

6 April 2024 – Rate changes

    • Statutory Maternity, Paternity, Adoption, Shared Parental and Parental Bereavement leave pay increases from £172.48 a week to £184.03. This is also the same increase for Maternity Allowance.
    • National Living wage for those over 21 (previously 23 and over) will increase from £10.42 to £11.44 per hour.
    • National Minimum Wage increases:
      • 18-20 year olds from £7.49 to £8.60 per hour.
      • 16-17 year olds and apprentices under 19 in their first year of apprenticeship from £5.28 to £6.40 per hour.
    • Tribunal compensation awards:
      • Limit on a week’s pay for redundancy or for calculating basic awards will increase from £643 to £700
      • The maximum compensatory award for unfair dismissal will increase from £105,707 to £115,115.

On the horizon

Anticipated September 2024 – Working hours and patterns

  • Workers (Predictable Terms and Conditions) Act 2023 – Workers and agency staff will have the right to request more predictable working patterns where there is a lack of predictability (i.e zero hours contracts)

Anticipated October 2024 – Protection from harassment

  • The Worker Protection (Amendment of Equality Act 2010) Act 2023 – There will be a new duty on employers to take “reasonable steps” to prevent sexual harassment of their employees. Employment tribunals will be able to uplift any compensation by up to 25% if this duty is breached.

Estimated April 2025 – Neonatal Care Leave

  • The Neonatal Care (Leave and Pay) Act 2023 – Parents will be entitled to 12 weeks of paid leave should their newborn baby be hospitalised in their first 28 days of life for 7 days or more.

Speak to a specialist

If you have a query or would like to discuss your organisation’s circumstances, please contact us online or speak to a member of our specialist employment team.


Your key contact

Marc Long

Head of Employment and HR Team/COFA

Southampton and London
Marc Long is the Head of Clarke Willmott’s Employment and HR team specialising in TUPE and outsourcing.
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