Critical 2024 UK Employment Law Changes Every Employer Must Know to Stay Compliant

The landscape of UK employment law is undergoing a significant and unprecedented transformation, marked by a series of recent and forthcoming legislative changes.  This evolving legal environment necessitates heightened vigilance from employers to ensure strict compliance and mitigate the risk of non-conformance.

As these regulatory changes continue to unfold in 2024 and beyond, maintaining a comprehensive understanding of the new requirements will be crucial for sustaining lawful and efficient business operations. Our detailed guide seeks to inform employers of the risks of non-compliance and help broaden employers’ understanding of the changes that are due to come into effect.

Recap of the Key Changes to UK Employment Law

Starting January 1, 2024, the calculation of holiday pay and entitlement for part-year and irregular hour workers has changed. Employers can now use the 12.07% method for holiday accrual and reinstate rolled-up holiday pay.

From April 6, 2024, employees can take up to one week of unpaid carer’s leave annually to care for dependants with:

  • A physical or mental condition requiring care for over three months.
  • A disability as defined by the Equality Act 2010.
  • Needs due to old age.

This right is available from day one of employment, and employees are not required to provide evidence of their dependant’s care needs.

Effective April 6, 2024, the right to request flexible working is now available from the first day of employment, and employees can make two requests per year. Employers have two months to respond to requests and must consult with employees before deciding. Employees no longer need to explain the impact of their request on the business.

As of April 6, 2024, employees on maternity, shared parental, or adoption leave have extended protection during redundancy. They must be offered a suitable alternative vacancy before other redundant employees. The protected period now starts from pregnancy notification and lasts 18 months post-birth or adoption. For shared parental leave, protection begins after six consecutive weeks of leave. If a pregnancy ends after 24 weeks, protection extends two weeks post-pregnancy.

From April 6, 2024, paternity leave can be taken within 12 months of birth or adoption. The two-week leave can be split into one-week blocks, and the notice period is now 28 days.

Starting September 2024, workers can request more predictable working patterns after 26 weeks with an employer. This applies to workers with irregular schedules, fixed-term contracts under 12 months, and agency workers.

From October 2024, employers must take ‘reasonable steps’ to prevent sexual harassment, including updating policies, training, and addressing complaints seriously. Tribunals can increase compensation by up to 25% for breaches.

What Can Employers do to Manage the Changes?

Awareness and proactive measures are essential to prepare for the coming changes to UK employment law, including:

  • Update and promote policies to reflect new legislation.
  • Implement record-keeping systems to track entitlements and protections.
  • Ensure managers are knowledgeable about new regulations.
  • Foster a flexible and supportive workplace culture.

With potential further changes if Labour wins the 2024 general election, including enhanced day-one employment rights and the abolition of zero-hours contracts, staying ahead of these developments is vital.


Where Can You Get Help with Employment Law?

If you need employment law help with some or all these important changes to holiday pay and expanded rights around flexible working, paid and unpaid leave and protection from redundancy during parental leave, the team at Employment Law Services (ELS) LTD can help.

Don’t hesitate to contact our specialist team if you have any questions or book a free consultation with us online to discuss your employment law and HR needs.