Upcoming changes to employment law in 2024

20th February 2024

The employment landscape is constantly evolving. A number of significant employment law changes are due to come in force in 2024.

Flexible Working Arrangements

From 6 April 2024, employees will have the right to submit a flexible working request to their employer from the first day of their employment.

A flexible working request must be made in writing and can only be made twice within a 12 month period. Employers would not be permitted to reject a flexible working request without consulting with the relevant employee. The outcome should be delivered in writing within two months of the date the request is made, unless an extension is agreed between the parties.

ACAS have produced a draft Code of Practice which both employers and employees can refer to for further guidance on the upcoming changes. A copy of the Code of Practice can be found here. Employers should prepare to update their policies to reflect the upcoming changes to flexible working arrangements.

Changes to the TUPE consultation process for small businesses

The government has proposed changes to some of the regulations retained from EU Law. One such amendment concerns the consultation process that is triggered when TUPE applies to a small business.

From 1 July 2024, businesses that are subject to a transfer of less than 10 employees or have less than 50 employees in total will no longer need to elect employee representatives for the TUPE consultation process. In these scenarios, if employee representatives are not already in place, the business will be permitted to consult directly with the employees.

Protections from redundancy extended to cover pregnant employees 

The Maternity Leave, Adoption Leave and Shared Parental Leave (Amendment) Regulations 2024 will come into effect from 6 April 2024. Employees who are pregnant will benefit from redundancy protection from the day they notify their employer they are pregnant, and for a period of up to 18 months after their child’s birth. This protection from date of notification will also apply to anyone who suffers a miscarriage, with the end date of the protection dependant on the length of pregnancy, and those taking adoption leave, for 18 months from the date of placement. Employers will be obliged to prioritise these employees when offering any suitable alternative employment in the business, if such positions indeed exist.

Paternity leave regulations

From 8 March 2024, the Paternity Leave (Amendment) Regulations 2024 will come into effect with the following changes:

  • The minimum notice period that an employee will be required to give to their employer before taking paternity leave will be reduced to 28 days
  • Employees will have the right to take their paternity leave at any time in the period of 52 weeks after their child’s birth
  • Employees will have the right to split their two weeks of paternity leave into two separate one-week periods of leave.

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