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Springing into Action: All Employment Law Changes set to apply from April 6th

Calendar April 6, 2024

April 2024 KLG Newsletter

Key changes to accruing and calculating holiday for casual and part-year workers

In November 2023, the Government unveiled a series of modifications to the existing regulations concerning holiday pay, along with draft legislation aimed at implementing these changes. The principal amendments, effective for holiday years commencing from 1 April 2024 onwards, include:

  1. Re-introduction of rolled-up holiday pay for irregular hours and part-year workers;
  2. Re-introducing the 12.07% of hours worked calculation method for irregular hours and part-year workers;
  3. Amendments to the definition of a week’s pay for holiday pay calculations;
  4. Changes to carry over of holiday rules.

There will be two key changes affecting “irregular hours workers” and “part-year workers”. New sections will be inserted into the Working Time Regulations 1998 (WTR) dealing specifically with these workers, which will provide:

  • A new holiday entitlement system wherein holiday accrual will be based on 12.07% of the hours worked by the individual in the previous pay period;
  • The right for employers (if they wish to use it) to implement rolled-up holiday pay. This means that holiday pay for these workers can be paid as an uplift of 12.07% to the normal rate of pay at the time work is done, instead of being paid at the time holiday is taken.

The 12.07% calculation method for holiday entitlement effectively converts the UK statutory holiday entitlement for full time workers of 5.6 weeks holiday (28 days including the 8 public holidays) into a percentage of holiday against working time (5.6 weeks / (52 weeks – 5.6 weeks) = 12.07%).

For more information about these changes, be sure to check our latest blogs on the KLG website for all updates.

Changes to flexible working

Employees can now make two rather than one request a year for flexible working, and the deadline for employers to respond to requests has been reduced from three to two months.

Employers will also have to explain the reasons for denying any request, and employees no longer have to explain the impact of their request. However, the list of reasons employers can use to deny requests is remaining the same, including factors such as cost to the business or impact on quality, performance, or ability to meet customer demand.

These changes were made through the Employment Rights (Flexible Working) Act 2023. Through a separate piece of secondary legislation, employees will also be able to make such requests from their first day of employment, without having to wait the 26-week qualifying period.

To support the new statutory scheme, the revised statutory Acas Code of Practice on requests for flexible working, which was issued in draft form on 11 January 2024, will come into force on 6 April 2024.

For more information about this legislation, see the Library briefing on the Employment Relations (Flexible Working) Bill 2022-23.

Low Pay Commission publishes consultation on minimum wage changes

The Low Pay Commission (LPC) has initiated a consultation to gather evidence regarding prevailing economic and labour market conditions affecting both employees and businesses, alongside the specific ramifications of the national minimum wage (NMW) and national living wage (NLW) rates. The LPC is particularly keen on exploring the following aspects:

  • The feasibility and consequences of a potential increase in the NLW from £11.44 to a range between £11.61 and £12.18 (with a central estimate of £11.89) in April 2025.
  • The repercussions of the NLW elevation in April 2024 on various stakeholders including workers, employers, the labour market, and the overall economy.
  • The ramifications of extending the NLW to individuals aged 21–22 in April 2024.
  • The impact of NMW escalations on the employability of younger workers.
  • The effects stemming from the April 2024 adjustment in the Apprentice Rate and its ongoing alignment with the rate applicable to 16–17-year-olds.
  • The level of awareness, utilization, and effects of the Accommodation Offset.

The consultation period concludes on 7 June 2024, with the LPC slated to furnish its findings to the government by the close of October 2024.

Carer’s leave

Employees are now entitled to take one week of unpaid leave a year if they have caring responsibilities.

This applies to any employees who are caring for a spouse, civil partner, child, parent or other dependant who needs care because of a disability, old age or any illness or injury likely to require at least three months of care. The leave entitlement is available from the first day of employment with no qualifying period.

This entitlement was created by the Carer’s Leave Act 2023 and the associated Carer’s Leave Regulations 2024.

Increased protection against redundancy for pregnant employees

Employees taking specific forms of parental leave are now safeguarded against redundancy for a minimum of 18 months. This safeguard entails that if their position becomes redundant, their employer must offer them priority consideration for any alternative vacancies; nevertheless, they may still face redundancy if no suitable vacancy is available. Previously, employees only had this protection during their period of maternity, adoption, or shared parental leave.

Protection now begins on the day the employer is first notified of the employee’s pregnancy and ends 18 months after the date of the child’s birth. These protections also now extend to 18 months after the date of adoption for parents taking adoption leave or 18 months after the child’s birth in cases where a parent is taking at least six weeks of shared parental leave.

These changes were made by the Protection from Redundancy (Pregnancy and Family Leave) Act 2023, and the Maternity Leave, Adoption Leave and Shared Parental Leave (Amendment) Regulations 2024.

More flexibility for paternity leave

Employees taking statutory paternity leave (and pay, if they are eligible) can now split their two weeks’ entitlement into two separate one-week blocks, rather than having to take them both together. They can also take their two weeks at any time within the first year after their child’s birth, rather than within only the first eight weeks after birth as previously required.

Employees now have to give employers 28 days’ notice for each week of leave, down from 15-weeks’ notice previously, before taking leave. However, they still need to give notice of their upcoming entitlement 15 weeks before the expected date of birth.

These changes were made by the Paternity Leave (Amendment) Regulations 2024

Changes coming later in 2024

Other changes are expected to come into force later in 2024:

By Suraj Purohit.

Employment Paralegal at Kalra Legal Group



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