What to expect in Employment law in 2024

January 31, 2024 2:57 pm Published by

We wanted to alert you to a number of changes to Employment law which are planned for 2024.

Flexible working

From 6 April 2024 it will be a ‘day one right’ for employees to request flexible working. They will no longer need 26 weeks’ service to make a request and neither will they have to justify how their request will impact their employer. They will be able to make two requests in any 12-month period and employers will need to consider each request and respond within two months. However this is still only a ‘right to request’ flexible working and so employers will still be able to turn down requests they cannot accommodate for one of 8 business reasons. 

Redundancy protection for staff from pregnancy and for 18 months after a baby is born

From 6 April 2024 pregnant employees as well as staff on maternity leave, adoption leave or shared parental leave will be protected until 18 months after their baby is born. During this period if the employee is at risk of redundancy they must be offered suitable alternative employment if a vacancy existsin priority to anyone else who is provisionally selected for redundancy. Failure to do so may result in claims for automatically unfair dismissal and possible unlawful discrimination claims. 

Paternity leave

Parents of children born after 6 April 2024 will have the right to take paternity leave as two separate one-week blocks at any time in the 52-week period after birth or adoption. They will only need to give 28 days’ notice of their intention to do so. 

Carer’s leave

From 6 April 2024 there will be a new right for employees with a caring responsibility for a dependant to take one week’s unpaid carer’s leave per year. This will be a ‘day one’ right and the dependant can be anyone with ‘long-term care needs’ who relies on the employee for care. Long-term care needs could be a disability, an illness requiring care for more than three months, or old age. The right will be for the employee to be absent from work to arrange care for their dependent. 
Requests can be consecutive or non-consecutive, half or full days up to and including a whole week of leave. Employers can postpone a request, but must allow it to be taken within one month of the original start date requested. Employees are protected from detriment or dismissal due to taking carer’s leave and all terms and conditions other than remuneration will continue during this leave. 

Protection from harassment

From October 2024 there will be a new duty on employers to take ‘reasonable steps’ to prevent sexual harassment in the workplace and to make workplaces safer for all staff. In the event of an Employment Tribunal claim for sex discrimination if a Tribunal considers an employer has failed to take reasonable steps it could uplift compensation by 25%.

If you have any questions regarding these forthcoming changes or would like assistance in updating policies accordingly please contact help@yourhrpartner.co.uk.

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This post was written by SKHR