Home / The Rix & Kay Blog / 2024: This April is a busy month for New Employment Law!
Elaine Abbs

Solicitor - West Kent (Hadlow)

25th March 2024

2024: This April is a busy month for New Employment Law!

To help your business prepare for all the changes in employment law this April 2024, here’s a refresher of the major points of change.

National Minimum Wage Increases:

The new National Minimum Wage increased rates start from the 1st of April 2024.

For all employees aged 21 or over, the new Minimum Wage is £11.44 per hour. This is now the highest rate of the Minimum Wage. This higher rate now starts aged 21 not at age 23 as in previous years.

Holiday Entitlement & Holiday Pay

Holiday entitlement

For irregular hours workers and part-year workers, holiday entitlement is to be calculated at 12.07% of hours worked for Holiday Years which start from the 1st of April 2024

Rolled-up Holiday Pay

For irregular hours workers and part-year workers rolled-up holiday pay is allowed for holiday years from the 1st of April 2024.

Rolled-up holiday pay should be paid alongside the workers’ normal pay and it should be shown as a separate item on a payslip. Notably, employers should include payments such as commission, tips or other payments that are “intrinsically linked to the performance of tasks which a worker is obliged to carry out under the terms of their contract” in the 12.07% calculation.

Flexible Working

From the 6th of April 2024, the right to request flexible working will become a day one right for Employees. Previously an Employee would have to have worked for a continuous period of at least 26 weeks before being able to make a request to work flexibly’. The Following changes are also made:

  • Employees will be entitled to make two flexible working requests per year (as opposed to one).
  • Employees do not now need to specify the impact which their request may have on the business and how those effects may be dealt with;
  • Employers MUST respond to flexible working requests within two months as opposed to three months (this time limit is inclusive any potential appeal process); and
  • Employers must not reject a flexible working request without first consulting with their employee.

ACAS offers an updated Code of Practice on their website.

Carer’s Leave:

From the 6th of April 2024, carers have a day one right to a week off work as unpaid leave, to provide or arrange care for a dependent. This doesn’t apply to workers or the self-employed. The leave can be taken in periods of a day or half day.

Employees can ask employees to ‘self-certify’ that they are eligible – note that no ‘evidence’ is required.

Employers cannot refuse a request to take the leave but can postpone it by up to a month if the leave would disrupt the business. There’s a Request procedure.

Redundancy: Greater Employee job protection– who for? And what are the changes?

On the 6th of April 2024, employees on maternity, adoption or shared parental leave (‘SPL’) selected for redundancy are entitled to be offered a suitable alternative vacancy, (if it’s available), giving them priority protection against dismissal.

Employees on maternity leave already have the right to be offered any suitable alternative vacancy in a redundancy situation. From April 6th this priority protection against dismissal, lasts over a greater period of time.

This is important because a failure to give this priority protection in a redundancy exercise can have expensive consequences in terms of having to defend ET claims.

The Redundancy priority protection period is as follows:

  • For pregnant employees, (after 6 April 2024) from the point when they inform their employer they are pregnant
  • For employees who are returning from Maternity Leave, Adoption Leave or Shared Parental Leave (where the leave ends on or after 6 April 2024) until 18 months after the Expected Week of childbirth, the date of the child’s birth or the date of the adoption placement.
  • For women who have experienced a miscarriage – The protection runs for up to two weeks after the end of pregnancy if the miscarriage occurs before 24 weeks of pregnancy. Miscarriages after 24 weeks’ pregnancy are considered stillbirths and consequently the employee is entitled to take maternity leave, meaning the above applies.

NOTE: In a redundancy situation where no suitable alternative vacancies exist, the priority protection is never engaged, and employment will come to an end.

We recommend that if you haven’t done so already – you should revisit your relevant Policies which deal with any of the above. And, we are here to help!

Contact Us

With all these and more changes coming up over the coming months, contact Elaine Abbs and Matthew Grant or anyone on the GatekeeperHR team for all your Employment Law needs.