January 16, 2024

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    As we get closer to the following implementation dates, employers will need to make their managers aware of new rights and HR teams should consider reviewing training and internal policies.

    Get in touch with us for advice and support on what to include in your policies for best practice and what to watch out for in order to reduce your legal risk.

    1. Holiday Pay

      From 1 January 2024, legislation has come into force which broadly preserves (and clarifies) previous entitlement under EU Law but with some tweaks:

      • the meaning of “Normal Pay” for annual leave purposes has been given a clearer UK definition (including payments such as commission and regular overtime).

      • Clarity on carrying over holiday into the next leave year has been provided in respect of long-term sick leave and family leave.

      • For leave years starting on or after the 1 April 2024, for part-year and irregular hours workers, holiday shall accrue at 12.07% of hours that are worked.

    2. Flexible Working

      Long awaited changes are expected in April 2024. Including this now being a “Day 1 right”, the ability to apply for flexible working twice in a given 12-month period, and the obligation for employers to consult with the employee before rejecting a request for flexible working.

    3. Family Leave: Extended Protection in a Redundancy Situation

      Changes are expected to come into force on 6 April 2024. The changes are to the length of the protected period during which employees on certain family leave and who are provisionally selected as being at risk of redundancy, must be given priority for a suitable available vacancy (where one is available):

      • For pregnant employees and those on maternity leave, the protected period shall be from the moment the employee tells their employer about their pregnancy right through to 18 months after the birth of their child.

      • For employees on adoption leave, the protected period shall be from the date of placement, and also last 18 months.

      • For those parents on shared parental leave lasting longer than 6 weeks (but who’ve not taken Maternity or Adoption leave) the protected period shall last 18 months from the date of birth or placement.

    4. Sexual Harassment

      Looking ahead to October 2024, employers shall be required to take reasonable steps to prevent sexual harassment in the workplace, and falling foul of the duty could lead to a 25% uplift on any relevant tribunal awards.

    5. Predictable Working Patterns

      Expected to come into force in September 2024 and likely to require at least 6-months service with an employer, workers who have sporadic work hours will have a right to request predictable working hours and employers shall have a month to respond.  

    6. Carers Leave

      Expected from 6 April 2024, employees will have a right to take up to a weeks’ unpaid leave in a 12-month period to provide or arrange care for a dependant with a long-term care need.

    7. Paternity Leave

      As well as changes to some notification requirements, expected changes to paternity leave for babies whose expected week of childbirth/placement for adoption is on or after 6 April 2024, include:

      • Employees will be able to take their statutory paternity leave as two separate one-week blocks (rather than having to take just one week in total or two consecutive weeks) 

      • Employees will be able to take this at any time in the 52 weeks after birth/adoption (rather than only within 56 days following birth/adoption).

    8. TUPE

      Informing and consulting on TUPE will get a little easier for small businesses (under 50 people) or where only 10 people are transferring. For TUPE transfers taking place from July 2024, employers who fit the criteria will be able to directly consult with staff, instead of having to go through the employee representative election rigmarole.

    9. Failure to Prevent Fraud

      For “Large” organisations, regulations are likely to come in some time this year, with a new corporate offence for failure to prevent fraud.

    10. National Minimum/Living Wage (NMW)

      From 1 April 2024, the largest cash increase to NMW will take effect. Further the age threshold for national living wage will be lowered from age 23 to age 21.

      The new hourly rate for those aged 21 and over is £11.44.

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