Keep an eye on the following changes due to be implemented on 6 April.

  • Flexible Working Requests – will come into force 6 April 2024

Employees will be able to request flexible working from day one of their employment without the need to work for 26 weeks first. They will be permitted to make a request twice a year rather than only once. The need to explain how this will not impact the company or team, has been removed and the employer must respond to the request within two months instead of three. The eight statutory reasons to decline the application remain the same but employers will need to be ready to justify their reasons for saying no.

  • Extending Redundancy Protection for those on paternity, maternity, adoption or shared parental leave – will come into force 6 April 2024

The protected period will be extended to six months after an employee returns to work. Where there is a redundancy situation, the employee must be given priority for alternative roles (subject to being suitable). This means some employees could be protected for 18 months where they take the full maternity leave entitlement. (For shared parental leave there is a threshold of continuous leave that needs to be met for the requirements to apply.)

  • Carers Leave– will come into force 6 April 2024

Employees will be permitted to take up to one week unpaid leave to care for a dependant. The leave can be in a one week block or several separate days. Employers cannot insist on evidence being provided of their entitlement and the company cannot say no to the request, it can only be postponed where absolutely necessary.

  • Paternity Leave- Due to come into force 8 March 2024

Partners will have the right to take two non-consequential weeks leave rather than one block. They will also allow this leave to be taken at any time during the first year after birth/adoption rather than only within 56 days.

More changes in the pipeline

  • Worker Protection (Amendment of Equality act 2010) Act will create on obligation on employers to take reasonable steps to prevent sexual harassment of employees. This is expected to come into force in October 2024.
  • Neonatal Leave- parents of a child spending seven or more days in neonatal care will have the right to take up to 12 weeks paid leave (statutory rate of pay). This expected in 2025.

Need advice on the employment law changes due to come into force in April 2024?

For advice on this or any other employment issue, please email enquiry@beswicks.com or phone our Stoke-on-Trent solicitors on 01782 205000 or our Altrincham solicitors on 0161 929 8494. If you are an employer, you can benefit from unlimited employment law and HR advice via phone or email through our low-cost Beswicks HR service. Email laura.franklin@beswicks.com to find out more. Alternatively, you can fill out our online contact form or read more about employment law.