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How will the new changes to Employment law affect you?

Employment law changes 2024 


Employment law is always evolving in response to an ever-modernizing society. It is important for employees and employers to always be one step ahead of these changes and to be aware of their impact on the workplace.   


Here are some of the significant changes happening in the world of employment law for 2024. 

 

Carers leave Act 2024 


Applicable to requests made on, or after the 6th April 2024, employees who have a dependent with long-term care needs will be entitled to take up to one week of leave every 12 months. They can take a whole week off, or individual or half days.  


A ‘week’ will mean the length of time that that employee usually works over 7 days. During carer’s leave, the employee’s employment rights (such as returning to their job) will be protected.  


Employees who will qualify for this new entitlement must care for a dependent with long-term care needs which are defined as ‘A physical or mental illness or injury that means they are expected to need care for more than three months, a disability or care needs because of their old age’. 


Employees who are eligible will be entitled to carer’s leave from the first day of their employment, otherwise known as a ‘day one right’.  


The dependent who the employee cares for can be anyone who relies on them, it does not have to be a family member. 


If an employee working hours change week by week, the Governments guidance for working out how much carers leave is as follows: 

: Add the total number of hours worked in the previous 12 months  

: Divide that figure by 52 (ie 52 weeks, or a number representative of the number of weeks they have been employed if less than a year) 

: The figure will be the amount of leave they can take as carer’s leave. 


The Government further states that if an employee wants to take carer’s leave in their first week of employment, then use the amount of hours they are expected to work in a week as the amount of leave they can take.  


To take carer’s leave, an employee must give their employer notice of their request. If the request is for half a day of a whole day, the notice must have been given to the employer at least 3 days before the start of the leave. If the request is more than one day, the period of notice must be twice as long as the leave requested.  


Employers are not allowed to refuse a carer’s leave request. However, in circumstances where an employees leave would cause ‘serious disruption’ to the business, an employer can ask that the employee takes a different time instead, subject to certain conditions.  

 

Flexible working changes (flexible working amendment regulations 2023) 


From the 6th April 2024, employees will be able to request flexible working from the first day of their employment. Whereas currently, employees will only be eligible having worked at least 26 weeks prior to the request with the same employer.  


A statutory application for flexible working can relate to the number of hours an employee works, their start times or finishing times, the location of where they work and the number of days.  


Employees are also now entitled to make two flexible working requests within a 12-month period, compared to previously just the one. Employers are now required to consult the employee and respond to their flexible working request within two months whereas previously, they had been permitted three months

Upon receiving a request, if an employer does not handle it in a reasonable manner according to the ACAS code of practice on flexible working requests, there is a possibility that the employee can take them to an employment tribunal. 


In order to consider a request in a reasonable manner, an employer must assess both the advantages and disadvantages of the request. They should discuss the request with the employee and if the employer refuses the request, they should offer an appeal process to the employee. An employer is allowed to refuse a flexible working request if there is ‘valid business reasons’, which under the new rules, they should make the employee aware of. 

 

Changes to Paternity leave and pay. (Paternity leave amendment regulations 2024) 


Implemented on the 8th March 2024, the Paternity Leave (Amendment) Regulations 2024 and the Statutory Paternity Pay (Amendment) regulations 2024 will apply to babies expected to be born, or placed for adoption in the UK, or expected to enter the UK for adoption, on or after 6th April 2024. 


Fathers and partners will be able to choose to take their two weeks of statutory paternity leave as either two, non-consecutive one week blocks, or, as one consecutive period. This is as opposed to currently deciding to take one or the other.  


Fathers and partners can take paternity leave at any point in the 52 weeks after birth, or adoption of their child, rather than within the first eight weeks after birth or adoption.  


The required notice period of intention to take paternity leave for birth of a child will be lowered to 28 days, or four weeks. Different notice rules will continue to apply to adoptions, both UK and overseas. 

 

 

If you require advice as to how these changes, or, any of the other number of Employment law developments which will take effect in 2024 will affect you, don’t hesitate to reach out to us at DPA Law.


Our contact details are as follows: 

Ammanford: 01269 500591 

Cardiff: 02920 091092 

Llanelli: 01554 749144 

 

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