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UK: April 2024 HR guidelines

This April sees a raft of employment legislation modifications coming into power, requiring employers to replace workers insurance policies and make sure that managers are briefed.  Under is a fast guidelines, together with hyperlinks to our earlier extra detailed posts.  Please do get in contact along with your common HSF contact if you need additional data or help with updating insurance policies.

Modifications to versatile work requests: all proposed modifications now confirmed for six April

  • Laws have been made earlier within the yr making the correct to request versatile working a day one proper from 6 April 2024.
  • A second set of laws was required to deliver amendments to major laws into power, together with to enable two requests a yr and shorten the time for employers to answer two months.  On twenty ninth March these laws have been lastly revealed on the federal government laws web site, confirming the 6 April graduation date.  Acas’s revised statutory code additionally comes into power on 6 April.  See right here for additional particulars of the modifications and right here for particulars of revisions to the Code.  Versatile work insurance policies will must be amended and managers made conscious of the important thing modifications, particularly the shorter timeframe for responding and the necessity to seek the advice of with the worker earlier than rejecting a request.
  • Acas has beforehand stated that it’ll publish non-statutory steerage to accompany the code – this was not but obtainable on the time of writing.

Modifications to household go away rights

  • New proper to unpaid carers’ go away: day one proper to as much as one week’s go away (unpaid) per rolling 12 months, to offer or make  preparations for care of dependants with long-term care wants. See right here for extra particulars. Employers could desire a stand-alone coverage or to think about including the brand new proper to any present coverage overlaying break day for dependants.  The place different household go away insurance policies cross-reference rights for carers, it might even be price updating these to flag which forms of go away must be used for which functions.
  • Minor modifications to paternity go away and pay: paternity go away insurance policies will want updating to mirror that employed fathers and companions (of kids whose EWC/anticipated date of placement for adoption is after 6 April 2024) can now take paternity go away as two separate weeks at any time within the first yr from delivery;  the discover requirement for deliberate dates can also be decreased to twenty-eight days. See right here for additional particulars.

Modifications to redundancy safety – precedence over vacancies

The precedence over appropriate various vacancies, if provisionally chosen for redundancy, will probably be prolonged to cowl staff who’re pregnant and, for these taking maternity, adoption or shared parental go away (the place a minimal 6 consecutive weeks’ shared parental go away have been taken), for the interval by way of to 18 months after childbirth/adoption (along with through the go away itself).  See right here for extra element.  We’ve got recorded a podcast on these modifications, together with a extra detailed briefing reviewing these and different current modifications to the legislation on redundancies, obtainable to purchasers on request.

Modifications to Working Time Laws: irregular hours/part-year staff’ annual go away

On 1 January 2024 the Working Time Laws have been amended to introduce modifications to the strategy of statutory vacation accrual and to allow rolled up pay for irregular hours and part-year staff – these modifications come into power for go away years beginning on or after 1 April 2024.  See right here for particulars of the modifications and right here for factors arising from authorities steerage.

As bonus season approaches, it might even be price contemplating the affect of the amendments on statutory vacation pay entitlement in relation to bonuses.  As mentioned in our earlier put up, there’s a concern that the modifications made to the laws to codify the correct to regular remuneration throughout vacation may seize extra bonus schemes than historically thought, and the design of the scheme could affect the the chance of claims.  Related components will embody whether or not the bonus is intrinsically linked to efficiency, the regularity of cost and whether or not taking statutory vacation probably reduces the quantity of bonus.  Please do get in contact if you need to think about this additional.

Modifications to caps on tribunal compensation, statutory advantages and minimal wage

  • From 6 April 2024, the cap on the unfair dismissal compensatory award will increase from £105,707 to £115,115 and the cap on weekly pay (used to calculate the unfair dismissal fundamental award and statutory redundancy pay) will increase from £643 to £700. This offers a most unfair dismissal award of £136,115 (or, if much less, 12 months’ pay).
  • The bands for harm to emotions awards have additionally been elevated for claims offered on or after 6 April 2024;  the bottom band begins at £1,200, the center band at £11,700, and the very best band begins at £35,200 with a cap of £58,700 (save in distinctive circumstances).
  • From 6 April 2024 the weekly price of statutory sick pay will increase to £116.75 (from £109.40) and from 7 April 2024 the weekly flat price of statutory maternity, paternity, adoption and shared parental pay will increase to £184.03 (from £172.48).
  • The nationwide minimal wage charges improve from 1 April 2024. Staff of 21 years and older will probably be entitled to be paid a minimal nationwide residing wage of £11.44 per hour (beforehand £10.42 for these aged 23 years+ and £10.18 for these aged 21 or 22).

And a fast reminder of different modifications anticipated later this yr…

  • The Authorities’s revised draft statutory code on dismissal and re-engagement is awaiting parliamentary approval and is predicted to be introduced into power ‘later within the Summer time’ – see right here for extra particulars.
  • For TUPE transfers going down on or after 1 July 2024, employers with no acceptable worker representatives in place will probably be allowed to tell and seek the advice of affected staff immediately the place (i) they make use of fewer than 50 staff in complete, or (ii) there are, or are prone to be, fewer than 10 transferring staff (no matter dimension the employer is).
  • A brand new proper to request predictable phrases is predicted in September 2024 (see right here). This could give staff and company staff the correct twice a yr to request a predictable work sample the place their contract is for 12 months or much less or is for an unpredictable variety of hours or days of the week or occasions, topic to a 26 week service requirement.  Acas has consulted on a draft Code however has but to publish a remaining model.
  • From 26 October 2024 the Employee Safety (Modification of Equality Act 2010) Act will introduce a brand new proactive responsibility on employers to take cheap steps to stop sexual harassment (ie, undesirable conduct of a sexual nature) of staff in the middle of employment.  The EHRC is predicted to publish a brand new statutory code of observe within the close to future (prone to be primarily based on the EHRC’s technical steerage revealed in January 2020, mentioned right here), and employers will then must take acceptable steps to adjust to the responsibility.  Insurance policies and supervisor/workers coaching will want reviewing and certain updating to mirror the brand new code.
  • The Authorities has backed a Personal Members’ Invoice, the Paternity Depart (Bereavement) Invoice, to enhance go away rights for fathers or companions the place a mom, or an individual with whom a toddler is positioned or anticipated to be positioned for adoption, dies.  Particulars and timing are nonetheless to be confirmed.
  • The Normal Election!  Hearken to our podcast for a dialogue of Labour Get together employment legislation proposals.
Anna Henderson

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