New employment legislation effective from 6 April 2024

legal updates

Enhanced employee rights, offering day-one entitlements to carer's leave, flexible working arrangements, and extended redundancy protection for pregnant employees and those on family leave.

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Three (employment laws) new pieces of legislation are coming into force from 6 April 2024.

The new employment legislation focusses on employees who have caring responsibilities and will be coming into force on 6 April 2024.

This will be a right from day one of employment for any employee, which means no qualifying period (length of service) is required. Anyone who is caring for a spouse, civil partner, child, parent, or other dependant who requires care due to a disability, old age, illness, or injury that is likely to require at least three months’ care will be eligible.

The leave is unpaid and the maximum duration for the leave is one week per year.

Whilst an employer cannot refuse a request for a carer’s leave, it can be postponed if there are good reasons, such as if the leave would coincide with a disruption of the business.

Employment Rights (Flexible Working) Act 2023
Under the new legislation, workers in the UK will be entitled to request flexible working arrangements. Again, this right will be from day one of their employment and means no length of service/qualifying period is required (before April 2024, an employee could only submit a flexible request if they had worked for a minimum of 26 weeks). An employee can also make two statutory requests for flexible working within any 12 months. Previously, this only allowed for one request.

The request for flexible working can include part-time, term time, flexitime, consolidated hours, and varied working locations.

If any request for flexible working arrangements is denied, employers must set out their reasons with an explanation. Before April 2024, although an employer still required a good reason to reject a flexible working request, an explanation was not required.

Any request submitted by an employee must be responded to within two months. Whereas, previously, the response time was three months.

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Protection from Redundancy (Pregnancy and Family Leave) Act 2023
Prior to April 2024, employees who were on maternity leave/shared parental leave or adoption leave were subject to special protection concerning a redundancy situation. However, from 6 April 2024, the legislation will extend this protection and allow for priority status to pregnant employees and to those employees who have recently returned from maternity/adoption or shared parental leave. This will also be extended to employees who are taking sufficient shared parent leave.

Should you have any queries or require assistance about this new employment legislation, please contact us at Lawgistics – 01480 455500.

Roxanne BradleyLegal AdvisorRead More by this author

Related Legal Updates

Changes to Flexible Working

Unveil the new landscape of flexible working rights with the Employment Relations (Flexible Working) Act 2023, now granting ‘day-one’ rights to employees and setting a precedent for more adaptable workplace practices effective from 6 April 2024.

Employment Law: Carer’s Leave

The regulations explicitly safeguard employees from any detriment or dismissal resulting from taking or seeking to take carer’s leave.

Employment Law: Annual Leave Changes

Several significant changes came into force on 1 January 2024 that affect the statutory annual leave and pay entitlements.

Update on Rights to Flexible Working Requests

Employers will remain entitled to turn down a request pointing to reasonable grounds as a basis for refusal.

Parents and Carers: New Protections at Work

Parents and carers will benefit from the following new employment protections that received royal assent in May 2023.

ChatGPT? For now, at least you can chat with your legal advisor

Seek advice from a legal expert or HR consultant who has experience in employment law and discrimination issues.

Changes in Rights to Flexible Working Requests

The employer will have a duty to discuss alternative forms of flexible working as opposed to simply rejecting a request.

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