​Staying ahead of this year’s key Employment Law changes

24 days ago by Admin
Employment Law Changes 0424

There are substantial employment law changes taking place throughout 2024. Some are live now, and others will come into play later in the year. These changes will impact your organisation and people. Here is our summary of some of the key employment law changes and what to expect:

Right to Work fines triple

When: 22nd January

Under a draft code, from 22nd January all right to work checks must include either a manual right to work check, a right to work check using Identity Document Validation Technology (IDVT), or a Home Office online right to work check. Fines: £45,000 per worker for first breaches, £60,000 per worker for repeat breaches.

Make sure all your employees have their Right to Work.

New Paternity Rights

When: 8th March (for children born or placed from 6 April onward)

New legislation allows fathers or partners to:

  • Split the two weeks of Statutory Paternity Leave into two separate week-long blocks should they wish.

  • Take the leave at any point in the 52 weeks following birth or placement for adoption.

  • Provide reduced notice period to take leave (from 15 weeks to 28 days before each intended period of leave)

Changes to Statutory Rates

When: 6th April

Increases in Statutory Rate changes for 2024-25, for the latest rates see the gov.uk website:

www.gov.uk/guidance/rates-and-thresholds-for-employers-2024-to-2025

Carers Leave Act 2023

When: 6th April

From 6th April employees can now take up to 5 days of unpaid leave per year (a rolling 12-month period) in order to provide or arrange care for a dependant who has a long term care need (defined as someone who has a disability under the Equality Act 2010, has issues relating to old age or has an illness or injury that will last or is expected to last for at least 3 months). There is no length of service to be eligible and no requirement for carers to supply evidence of why the leave is needed. The leave may be taken as half days, full days or in blocks (required notice is either twice as many days as the period of leave, or three days, whichever is the greater.)

Protection from Redundancy (Pregnancy and Family Leave) Act 2023

From 6th April 2024 the following increased protections apply:

  • Pregnant employees - prioritised for redeployment in redundancy situations from the point at which they inform the employer of their pregnancy, until 18 months after the birth of a child.

  • Miscarriages - protection is from the point at which the employer is informed of the pregnancy until two weeks after the loss of the child (if the loss is before 24 weeks.)

  • Adoption leave - Those on adoption leave are prioritised for redeployment from the first day of adoption leave to 18 months after the date of the placement of the child.

  • Shared parental leave - In the instance that the shared leave period is more than six continuous weeks or more, the employee is eligible for prioritisation in redeployment offers in a redundancy situation for 18 months from the child’s date of birth.

Employment Relations (Flexible Working) Act 2023

When: 6th April

Workers in England, Scotland and Wales now have the right to request flexible working from day one of a job and will be able to make two requests within a 12 month period.

Right to apply for predictable working patterns

When: September

Applies to workers including agency workers (with 26 weeks of service under the Workers (Predictable Terms and Conditions) Act 2023). Two requests can be made in a 12-month period. Initial guidance from Acas indicates that workers will be protected from detrimental treatment because they have applied for a predictable pattern and employers must follow the appropriate procedure.

Worker Protection (Amendment of Equality Act 2010) Act 2023

When: 26th October

Employers will have a duty to take measures to stop the sexual harassment of their employees.

For the first time it will mean that:

  • Employees can make a complaint directly to the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) without having to first complain to their employer.

  • Employers must be able to explain and provide proof of the reasonable steps they take to prevent the sexual harassment of their employees.

  • Employment tribunals will have the power to uplift sexual harassment compensation by up to 25% where an employer is found to have breached the new duty.

N.B The Government are working on legislation to increase the support offered to parents who have babies placed in neonatal care. The Neonatal Care (Leave and Pay) Act 2023 will allow up to 12 weeks of paid leave for eligible employees where a baby is admitted into neonatal care for a week at the age of 28 days or less. This is on top of any statutory leave entitlement. Due to come into force April 2025

For more detailed information visit the ACAS and CIPD websites.

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