As is always the case, every year in April, changes in employment law take place. This year is no different and below is a “snapshot” of some of the changes.

Flexible Working 

From 6 April 2024, key changes will be introduced to flexible working laws including:

a)   A flexible working request is a “day one” right, that is to say as soon as an employee starts employment they have the right to make a flexible working request;

b)   a new legal duty to consult with employees about alternatives to their flexible working request;

c)   employees are no longer required to set out how their request would impact the business if it is refused;

d)   two requests can be made by an employee in any 12-month period, and an employer is required to respond to requests within two months.

Carer’s Leave

From 6 April 2024 employees will have a new legal entitlement to take up to one week’s unpaid leave per year to provide or arrange care for a dependant with a long-term care need. It will apply to all employees from the start of their employment.

Statutory paternity leave

From 6 April 2024, partners will be able to take statutory paternity leave within the first year after childbirth (rather than the first 8 weeks) and will have the option to take the leave in two non-consecutive week blocks, as opposed to the current requirement to take it as either one week or two consecutive weeks. Similar rights will be in place for those who adopt. There is also a shortened 28-day notice period to notify employers about the intention to take statutory paternity leave.

Extended legal protection from redundancy during family leave

From 6 April 2024, redundancy protections will be extended for those on maternity, adoption and shared parental leave. Employees will be entitled to suitable alternative employment in a redundancy situation, in preference to other employees at risk, not just during pregnancy, but for 18 months after the expected week of childbirth. Similar protections are in place for those on adoption leave and shared parental leave.

With the likelihood of a General Election and possibly a new Government later in the year, it is of course possible that these changes could be changed… again.

The contents of this post do not constitute legal advice and are provided for general information purposes only.

The contents of this post do not constitute legal advice and are provided for general information purposes only