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Important changes for employers from 6 April 2024

By March 26, 2024Employment

Employers will need to be mindful that their policies are up to date to take into account the various legislative changes. Employers should also communicate the various changes to their employees and providing training to their managers where appropriate.

The following changes will take effect from April 2024:

Carer’s leave

The Carer’s Leave Regulations 2024 will come into force on 6 April 2024. They will implement the Carer’s Leave Act 2023 and provide for a new statutory right to one week’s unpaid carer’s leave per year for eligible employees to provide or arrange care for a dependant who may have the following:

  • a physical or mental illness or injury that means they need care for more than three months;
  • a disability as defined by s.6 Equality Act 2010; or
  • care needs because of their old age.

The leave entitlement it is a day-one right and it is advisable for employers to put in place a carer’s leave policy which will explain who will be defined as ‘carers and dependants’, how much notice is required and what the leave can be used for.

Flexible working

The new Employment Relations (Flexible Working) Act 2023 will introduce changes which take effect from 6 April 2024.

The key changes and processes are:

  • A flexible working request must be in writing, dated and specify the change requested. 
  • The employer has an obligation to deal with the flexible working request reasonably.
  • Following the request, the employer will have two months to deal with the request (which is reduced from three). However, the employer and employee can agree to extend this period if necessary.
  • The employee will no longer have to explain in their request how the change(s) will affect the business and how these effects can be mitigated.
  • The draft Code now suggests that employers should carefully consider the effect on the employer together with the impact on the employee if the request is granted or refused.
  • Unless the request is accepted in full by the employer, they should promptly invite the employee to a meeting.
  • The new legislation will require the employer to consult with the employee about the request and its potential effects.
  • The draft Code suggests discussing alternatives between the parties if the request cannot be agreed.
  • Acas advises to allow the employee to be accompanied at the meeting and to give a right of appeal against a refusal.
  • If the request is refused, the employee will be able to make two requests in a 12-month period, (previously this was limited to one request every 12 months).
  • The employer must inform the employee of the outcome, which should be given in writing.
  • Any refusal can only be based on specific grounds which include grounds relating to costs, customer/client demand and impact on performance.

Paternity leave reforms

The UK Government has published the draft Paternity Leave (Amendment) Regulations 2024 (The Paternity Leave (Amendment) Regulations 2024 ( which is due to come into effect where the expected week of birth begins after 6th April 2024.

The key changes are:

  • Fathers can now choose to take their two weeks of statutory paternity leave as either two non-consecutive one-week periods or as two consecutive weeks.
  • Fathers are no longer required to take paternity leave within 56 days following the birth or adoption of the child. The period of leave can now be taken at any point within the first year after the birth or adoption of the child.
  • The dates for paternity leave can be varied with 28 days’ notice, which is a change to the current requirement to give at least 15 weeks’ notice before the expected week of childbirth

Increased redundancy protection

As a result of the Maternity Leave, Adoption Leave and Shared Parental Leave (Amendment) Regulations 2024, after the 6 April 2024, parents taking a period of maternity leave, adoption leave, or shared parental leave will be afforded additional protection on top of the current right to be offered any suitable alternative employment during a redundancy situation, in priority to any others at risk of redundancy

The protection will now also apply during pregnancy, and for a period of 18 months after birth or placement for adoption for those taking maternity, adoption or shared parental leave.

National Minimum Wage

From 1 April 2024, the hourly National Living (NLW) and Minimum Wages (NMW) will increase.

The increases are as follows:

Workers aged 21 and over£11.44
Workers aged 18-20£8.60
Workers aged 16-17£6.40

Statutory Sick Pay and Statutory Family Leave Pay

From 6 April 2024, there will be an increase in Statutory Sick Pay to £116.75 per week.

From 7 April 2024 the weekly rate of statutory maternity pay, maternity allowance, statutory paternity pay, statutory shared parental pay, statutory adoption pay, and statutory parental bereavement pay will increase to £184.03 per week or 90% of the employee’s average weekly earnings, whichever is the lower.

A week’s pay

From 6 April 2024 the upper limit on weekly pay applied in statutory redundancy pay calculations will increase from £643 to £700.

Vento band Increases

The Tribunal has also increased the Vento bands in respect of claims presented on or after 6 April 2024,

The new Vento bands are:

  • a lower band of £1,200 to £11,700;
  • a middle band of £11,700 to £35,200; and,
  • an upper band of £35,200 to £58,700

What matters next

Employers should be mindful of these changes and ensure that they are in a position to comply with the new legislative requirements and updates.

This may include updating policies and procedures, communicating the changes to employees and providing training to managers as appropriate.

If as an employer you require any assistance with updating your current policies and procedures in light of the new changes, please contact a member of the employment team.

Natalie Howitt

Author Natalie Howitt

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