April 2024 employment law changes: are you ready?

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Posted on 03 Apr 2024

April 2024 employment law changes: are you ready?

April is always a busy month for employment law changes but this year sees more than usual. Here we provide a round-up of the changes you need to know about to keep you up to speed.

1 April

Holiday rights for irregular hours and part-year workers

For holiday years starting on or after 1 April 2024, there is a new holiday accrual system for irregular hours and part-year workers. They will no longer be entitled to 5.6 weeks’ holiday each year. Instead, their holiday will accrue at the end of each pay period at the rate of 12.07% of the number of hours worked in that pay period, subject to a maximum of 28 days’ holiday.

Employers will also be able, if they wish, to use rolled up holiday pay for irregular hours and part-year workers.

Click here for further information (see page 13).

Government guidance can be found here.

National Minimum Wage

The annual rise in National Minimum Wage rates took effect on 1 April, with this year seeing a significant increase. As part of the changes, those aged 21 and above become entitled to the highest rate, known as the National Living Wage. The new rates are as follows:

• National Living Wage (21 and over): £11.44 (9.8% increase)

• 18-20 year old rate: £8.60 (14.8% increase)

• 16-17 year old rate: £6.40 (21.2% increase), and

• Apprentice rate: £6.40 (21.2% increase).

At the same time the exemption from the National Minimum Wage for live-in domestic workers was removed, meaning they are no longer entitled to receive the National Minimum Wage.

6 April

Carer’s leave

A new statutory right to carer’s leave comes into force. Employees will be able to take one week’s unpaid leave in each 12 month rolling period in order to provide or arrange care for a dependant with a long-term care need.

Click here for further information (see page 15).

Paternity leave

Changes to paternity leave come into force, including a right for fathers to take their two week statutory paternity leave entitlement in two separate blocks of one week and at any time in the first year after the child’s birth or adoption. The notice requirements for taking leave are also being shortened.

Click here for further information (see page 16).

Flexible working

Changes to the right to request flexible working come into force, along with a new Acas Code of Practice which employment tribunals can take into account when deciding cases. Employees will be able to make a flexible working request from the first day of their employment and make two requests in any 12-month period. Employers will have to respond to a request within two months and must consult with an employee before refusing a request.

Click here for further information. 

Extended redundancy protection

The right for employees on maternity, adoption or shared parental leave to be offered a suitable available vacancy in a redundancy situation is being extended.

Click here for further information (see page 14).

Increase to compensation limits

For dismissals taking effect on or after 6 April 2024, the maximum compensatory award for unfair dismissal increases to £115,115 and the rate of a week’s pay, used for calculating statutory redundancy payments and the unfair dismissal basic award, increases to £700.

For employment tribunal claims presented on or after 6 April, the following bands apply to injury to feelings awards:

  • Lower band of £1,200 - £11,700 (increasing from £1,100 - £11,200) for less serious cases
  • Middle band of £11,700 - £35,200 (increasing from £11,200 - £33,700) for cases which do not merit an award in the upper band, and
  • Upper band of £35,200 - £58,700 (increasing from £33,700 - £56,200) for the most serious cases.

Amounts in excess of £58,700 can be awarded in the most exceptional cases.

Statutory Sick Pay

The Statutory Sick Pay rate increases to £116.75 per week.

7 April

Payments for family leave

The rate of Statutory Maternity, Adoption, Shared Parental, Paternity and Parental Bereavement pay increases to £184.03 per week.

Changes later this year 

Details of changes expected later this year, including an employer’s duty to prevent sexual harassment and a worker’s right to request a more predictable work pattern, can also be found in our Looking Ahead to 2024 guide.

If you have any questions about any of these changes or need help updating your policies and procedures, please contact a member of our team, or submit an enquiry form below.

Dan Begbie-Clench

Dan specialises in employment law and advises a range of companies and senior executives, partners and employees. He is known for commercial and responsive advice. He is recommended for his work in the leading legal directories, the Chambers UK Guide and The Legal 500 Guide.

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Chris Brazier

Chris is an employment law partner who advises on all aspects of employment law at a strategic and practical level, for both corporate clients and senior executives across the UK.

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The articles published on this website, current at the date of publication, are for reference purposes only. They do not constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon as such. Specific legal advice about your own circumstances should always be sought separately before taking any action.

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