Updates to Employment Law 2024

Updates to Employment Law 2024

20th March 2024

April is commonly the month where the majority of Employment Law changes come into force, and there are numerous developments to expect in 2024

National Living Wage

The Government has announced an update regarding the National Living Wage and National Minimum Wage, set to come into effect from April 2024.

At present, workers aged 23 and over receive the highest rate of pay of National Minimum Wage, this is changing.

The changes in rates will be as follows:

  • National Living Wage (note this is for 21 years and over and not as previously from 23 years ): from £10.42 to £11.44 per hour
  • National Minimum Wage (18-20): from £7.49 to £8.60 per hour
  • Young workers rate (16-17): from £5.28 to £6.40 per hour
  • Apprentice rate aged 19 or under 19, or over 19 in the first year of apprenticeship): from £5.28 to £6.40 per hour

Flexible Working

An amendment is due to come into effect from April 2024 under the Flexible Working Act 2023.

Employees will be able to make a flexible working request from the first day of their employment, as opposed to currently ?having to wait 26 weeks.

The employer will have a two-month timeframe (instead of three) to make a decision on the request, which can be extended through mutual agreement, and requires the employer to provide a reason for any rejection.

Two applications, (previously one) can be made within any 12-month period.

Paternity Leave Changes Introduced

The Paternity Leave (Amendment) Regulations 2024 will bring about changes that will take effect on 6 April 2024.

These changes are as follows:

  • Employed fathers and partners will have the option to take their statutory paternity leave in two separate blocks of one week of leave.
  • Employed fathers and partners will have more flexibility to take their statutory leave at any time within the first year (within 52 weeks of birth or placement for adoption), rather than being restricted to just the first eight weeks.

Amendment to the Workers Protection (Amendment of Equality Act 2010)

The Workers Protection Act, along with the amendments to the Equality Act 2010 and associated secondary legislation is expected to come into force.

This will bring forth an obligation for employers to proactively prevent sexual harassment of their employees by taking appropriate measures.

Employers ought to ensure that they are taking ‘reasonable steps’ to prevent harassment; should they not, tribunals will have the power to increase sexual harassment compensation by up to 25% where an employer is found to have breached this new duty.

Further changes to look out for this year:

  • Neonatal Care (Leave and Pay)
  • Worker’s right in requesting a more predictable contract/pattern
  • Legal protection from redundancy for pregnant workers

For further advice on any Employment Law related matters, whether that be as an Employer or Employee, please contact our expert team.

Article written by Employment Solicitor Kerry Hudson & Paralegal Ann George.