20. 03. 2024

2024 – A Year for Legislative Changes – Are You Up-to-Date?


It’s a year for legislative changes for employers and employees, but how much do you know about them? There are potentially 12 changes coming in throughout this year, some of which will have more impact than others, and as a business if you are unaware, you open yourself up to a variety of issues and possibly large fines. As an employee, it’s also important to know your rights and to make sure that you are being treated fairly.

Key changes include day 1 flexible working rights, increased fines for employing illegal workers, employers’ duty to prevent sexual harassment in the workplace, changes to paternity leave and changes to minimum wage. Here’s a brief explainer for you:

Day 1 Flexible Working Rights: The new regulations amend the Flexible Working Regulations 2014 so that the right to make a flexible working application becomes a day one right on 6 April 2024. Until 5 April 2024, employees will continue to require 26 weeks’ continuous employment to make a request, but this requirement is removed on 6 April 2024.

Increased Fines for Employing Illegal Workers: From the beginning of 2024, new punishments have come into force; businesses will see the civil penalty for employing illegal migrants rise from £15,000 for the first offence to £45,000. Repeat offenders will see fines triple from £20,000 to £60,000.

Employers’ Duty to Prevent Sexual Harassment in the Workplace: The Act was passed in October 2023 and will come into effect in October 2024. From this point, employers will be required to take ‘reasonable steps’ to prevent employee sexual harassment, and tribunals will be able to boost compensation by up to 25% if this duty is breached. This regulation will require internal policy making and changes so it’s worth thinking about in advance.

Changes to Paternity Leave: The Paternity Leave (Amendment) Regulations 2024 comes into effect on 6 April 2024 and introduces four changes:

  • Split Paternity Leave: Instead of taking the entire two-week entitlement in consecutive weeks, employees can now separate their leave into separate one-week blocks.
  • Time of Leave: Employees can take their paternity leave any time in the 52 weeks after the birth or adoption of their child.
  • Pay: The weekly maximum pay is rising from £172.48 to £185.03.
  • Notice Period: Employers only need four weeks' notice, instead of 15.

Changes to Minimum Wage: The rates of the National Living Wage (NLW) and the National Minimum Wage that will apply from April 2024 and represent the largest ever increase in cash terms are:

Rates from 1 April 2024 will offer:

  • a 9.8 per cent increase to the NLW for those aged 21 and over (from £10.42 to £11.44 per hour)
  • a 14.8 per cent increase for those aged 18-20 (from £7.49 to £8.60 per hour)
  • a 21.2 per cent increase for those aged 16-17 and apprentices (from £5.28 to £6.40 per hour).

Other legislative changes include alterations to rolled up holiday pay calculations, introduction of unpaid carers leave, changes to immigration rules, increased protection for those on maternity, adoption or shared parental leave, improved agency worker rights to request more predictable T&C’s, introduction of neonatal care leave, and predicted changes to non-compete clauses.

So, if you are working, whether you own or lead a business, work within HR or at management level, or are an employed member of staff, make sure you understand how current legislation is changing throughout 2024.

For more information on how we can support you, contact Jems Recruitment on 020 3821 1111, visit our website at www.jemsrecruitment.co.uk or follow us on our social pages - we are always here and happy to advise.

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