Changes in 2024 – what to expect

Dec 7, 2023 | Managing change

Although most of these are not finalised and no need to rush to change anything just yet, it’s worth keeping an eye on what’s coming up, so here’s a look at what you can expect in terms of employment law changes over the upcoming year or so.

Obviously as and when you need to do anything, we’ll let you know, and we’re always happy to advise on how a particular change will impact your business in particular.

Adjustment to working hours records

Employers will no longer be required to record the number of working hours each day for each worker (which many employers were not doing anyway). 

Employers will still be required to keep adequate records to demonstrate compliance with the Working Time Regulations 1998.

Holiday entitlement for irregular and part-year workers calculated at 12.07%

Currently, workers who are employed continuously for a year are entitled to 5.6 weeks holiday (paid at their average pay) a year, regardless of how much of the year they actually work, meaning someone who works, say, term time only, gets the same holiday entitlement as someone working year-round.

To correct this anomaly, employers will instead be able to calculate holiday based on an accrual method, at 12.07% of hours worked. It will apply for holiday years starting on or after 1 April 2024, which for most employers will be the holiday year January – December 2025.

Rolled-up holiday pay reintroduced

Rolling-up holiday pay involves paying an extra sum representing holiday pay for each pay period throughout the year, instead of paying it at the time the holiday is actually taken. It has been unlawful since 2006 but employers will now be able to do this for irregular hours workers or those working part of the year. It will apply for holiday years starting on or after 1 April 2024, which for most employers will be the holiday year January – December 2025.

National living wage for 21 year olds

The National Living Wage, which is the top rate of the National Minimum Wage, currently applies to workers aged 23 and over – this will reduce to 21 from April 2024. At the same time all rates are going up fairly significantly.

Carer’s leave

Employees who have a dependant with a long-term care need will be entitled to up to a week’s unpaid leave to provide or organise care. Requests for leave can be in half days or full days, and can be postponed by the business if the leave would be unduly disruptive. These changes will come into effect from 6 April 2024.

Duty on employers to give all tips to workers without deductions

Employers will be required to give all gratuities, service charges and tips to workers without deductions, and to ensure tips are distributed fairly. There will be further consultation and regulations, although this is likely to come into effect some time next year.

TUPE consultation simplified for small businesses and where fewer than 10 employees transfer

Currently business with 10 or more employees are technically required to hold elections for employee representatives for the purposes of consultation, regardless of how many employees will be transferring.

This burden will be removed, allowing organisations of fewer than 50 employees to consult directly, and any employer transferring fewer than 10 employees to do the same. This will apply to transfers taking place from 1 July 2024.

Changes to statutory flexible working request rules

The statutory right to request flexible working will become a day one right for requests made from 1 April 2024. In addition, separately, employees will be allowed to make two requests a year instead of one, and requests will need to be dealt with within two months rather than three. These changes will probably take effect in April 2024 to match the introduction of the day one right.

Right to request more predictable terms and conditions of work

Workers who are on zero hours or a fixed term contract or other unpredictable arrangement will have the right to request more predictable terms and conditions, including the right to request a predictable working pattern. Regulations will be needed to implement this change, which is likely to come into effect in the Autumn 2024.

Duty to prevent sexual harassment of employees

Employers will have a positive duty to take reasonable steps to prevent sexual harassment of team members in the course of their employment. The Act received Royal Assent in October but won’t come into effect for a year.

Statutory code of practice on “fire and rehire”

A draft statutory code of practice is being consulted on, setting out the process that employers should follow when wanting to make changes to terms and conditions, making clear that dismissing employees who don’t agree and then reengaging them on the new terms (“fire and rehire”) should only be a last resort. Once consultation on the new code has been completed, the Government will decide on a way forward.

Greater protection from redundancy for pregnancy and family leave

Employees who are pregnant, on family leave will have extra protection against redundancy. The protected period will last until 18 months after the birth or adoption placement date, for pregnancies notified or family leave starting from 6 April 2024.

Length of non-compete clauses limited to three months

There will be a restriction on length of non-compete clauses in contracts, to no more than three months. Other post-termination restrictions won’t be affected by the change, which will be brought in “when parliamentary time allows”.

Neonatal care leave and pay

Eligible parents will be able to take up to 12 weeks’ neonatal care leave if their baby requires neonatal care. They may also be entitled to pay if they meet necessary criteria. There will need to be Regulations to implement the entitlement, which is likely to take effect from April 2025.

If you’d like any advice on implementing the changes that are coming into effect in 2024, do get in touch.