In April 2024, a multitude of shifts in employment law are set to come into play, so its vital your business is aligned with the new regulations. 
National Minimum Wage changes 
On April 1st, it's crucial for employers to comply with national minimum wage adjustments. 
Rates are set to rise, with the main national minimum wage increasing from £10.42 to £11.44. 
Moreover, the extension of the national living wage to cover workers aged 21 and over begins, requiring employers to review and potentially increase remuneration to comply with the new rates. 
Full details and rates are here on the HMRC website  
Irregular Hours workers 
It's essential for employers with irregular hours workers to update their annual leave calculations starting from 1st April 2024. 
The main change is that holiday entitlement for irregular hours workers and part-year workers is calculated using an accrual method. Under this new calculation method, entitlement accrues at 12.07% of hours worked in a pay period. 
Employers with a holiday year running from January to December have some time to prepare - the rules do not apply for them until the annual leave period beginning on 1 January 2025. 
Statutory redundancy pay calculations 
On 6th April 2024, updates to statutory redundancy pay calculations take effect. 
Employers must ensure calculations for statutory redundancy payments consider the new maximum amount of £700, up from £643. 
You can use this online resource here for more information and to calculate redundancy payments.  
Redundancy protection to pregnant employees/maternity leave returners 
Employees on maternity leave, as well as those on adoption leave and shared parental leave, already have the right to be offered any suitable alternative vacancy in a redundancy situation. 
From 6 April 2024, this additional redundancy protection is extended to employees who are pregnant but have not yet gone on maternity leave. Also, the protection is extended to those who have recently returned to work from maternity leave, as well as those who have recently returned from adoption leave and a period of six weeks or more shared parental leave. 
Carers Leave 
From 6 April 2024, employees who have caring responsibilities for dependants with a long-term care need are entitled to one week's unpaid leave in every rolling 12-month period.  
This unpaid leave to give or arrange care for a ‘dependant’ must have: 
a physical or mental illness or injury that means they’re expected to need care for more than 3 months 
care needs because of their old age 
The dependant does not have to be a family member. It can be anyone who relies on them for care. 
Employees are entitled to carer’s leave from their first day of work for their employer. Their employment rights (like holidays and returning to their job) are protected during carer’s leave. 
Our advice to employers is make sure you introduce a process for employees who meet the legislative definition of a carer to be able to take this new type of leave and incorporate carer's leave into your family-friendly policies. Ensure that any carers within your business are aware of the new right. 
Make sure you train your managers in this area to ensure a consistent approach across the business. This will reduce the risk of managers making errors when handling requests for carer's leave. 
Changes to flexible working requests procedure 
Significant reforms to the right to request flexible working take effect for requests made on or after 6 April 2024.  
The key changes are: 
making the statutory right to request flexible working a "day one" right; 
giving employees the right to make two requests, rather than one, in a 12-month period; 
removing the requirement for an employee to explain what effect, if any, their request would have on the employer and how that might be dealt with; 
requiring employers to deal with to a request within two months, rather than three months; and 
placing an obligation on an employer to consult with an employee before rejecting a request. 
Employers should review their flexible working policies to ensure that they reflect the new requirements. It is vital to train managers on how to handle flexible working requests in light of the changes. 
Statutory Paternity Leave  
From 8th March 2024 reforms were introduced to statutory paternity leave introduce flexibility in leave scheduling and notice requirements. Employers must adapt to these changes by implementing new procedures and ensuring employees are aware of their rights. 
Statutory sick pay and family-related pay 
This will be subject to rates increase from 6th April & and 7th April 2024 respectively, necessitating adjustments to ensure compliance and updating relevant policies and procedures. 
The weekly rate of statutory sick pay increases on 6 April 2024. The new rate is £116.75, up from £109.40. 
The weekly rates of statutory maternity, adoption, paternity, shared parental and parental bereavement pay increase to £184.03, up from £172.48. The increases take effect on the first Sunday in April, which in 2024 is 7 April. 
As April unfolds, employers should also be mindful of deadlines for the following as these all have implications for HR practice and compliance.  
Gender pay gap reporting. The deadline is 30 March 2024 for public-sector employers and 4 April 2024 for private-sector and voluntary-sector employers 
Increases in employment tribunal award limits - these include the basic award for unfair dismissal going up from £7,836 to £8,533 and the compensatory award for unfair dismissal going up from £105,707 to £115,115. 
State pension rates - increases from £156.20 to £169.50 and the new state pension/single-tier pension will increase from £203.85 to £221.20. 
As always if you have any questions or need HR support to implement or understand these new changes do get in touch. We are always happy to help with your HR needs in plain speak!  
Tagged as: employmentlaw
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