The following employment law changes are coming into force in April 2024.

Holiday rules for irregular hours and part-year workers

For holiday years starting on or after 1 April 2024, you must calculate holiday entitlement and pay for irregular hours and part-year workers in line with new rules.

Holidays accrue on the last day of each pay period at the rate of 12.07% of the actual hours worked in that pay period (unless the worker has been on sick or statutory leave when different rules apply). 

You can choose to either use rolled-up holiday pay or pay for holidays when they are taken. If you opt for rolled-up holiday pay, you must pay a 12.07% uplift to the worker's pay for work done (based on all pay received); pay this at the same time as basic pay for work done; and itemise it separately on payslips.

Flexible working

From 6 April 2024:

  • Employees can request flexible working from 'day one' (rather than needing 26 weeks' continuous service)
  • They can make up to two statutory requests in 12 months (rather than just one)
  • Employees no longer need to explain what effect they think the change will have on the business and how that might be dealt with
  • The time limit for your response is reduced from three to two months
  • You cannot refuse a request unless you have 'consulted' the employee – usually via a meeting
  • There will be a new ACAS Code on flexible working.
Carer's leave Employees who give notice to take carer’s leave on or after 6th April 2024 have a new statutory right to take up to one week's unpaid leave in each rolling 12-month period 'to provide or arrange care for a dependant with a long-term care need'.
Paternity leave

If the expected week of childbirth begins after 6 April 2024, or the expected date of adoption placement is on or after 6 April 2024, the following changes to paternity leave apply:

  • Employees can take their two weeks' paternity leave as two separate blocks of one week (rather than having to choose between one single week or two consecutive weeks)
  • In most cases, employees can take paternity leave in the 52 weeks after birth or adoption (rather than just the first 56 days)
  • In birth cases, employees will only need to give 28 days' notice of paternity leave dates (although they must still give earlier notice of entitlement to take paternity leave).

Redundancy protection

Currently, if an employee on maternity, shared parental or adoption leave is selected for redundancy, you must offer them alternative employment if there is a suitable available vacancy. This priority status is being extended from 6 April 2024 to cover:

  • Pregnant employees: from the point they notify you of their pregnancy
  • Employees whose pregnancy ends due to miscarriage or stillbirth (before 24 weeks of pregnancy): a 2-week period after the pregnancy ends
  • Employees who take maternity or adoption leave: an 18-month period from the child's birth or adoption
  • Employees who take shared parental leave of at least 6 consecutive weeks: an 18-month period from the child's birth or adoption.
National minimum wage

The national minimum wage rates will increase from 1 April 2024:

  • National living wage (workers aged 21 and over, instead of the previous 23 and over): increase from £10.42 to £11.44
  • Development rate (workers aged 18-20): increase from £7.49 to £8.60
  • Young workers rate (workers aged 16 and 17 who are not apprentices): increase from £5.28 to £6.40
  • Apprentice rate (apprentices under 19 or aged 19 or over and in the first year of apprenticeship): increase from £5.28 to £6.40.
Statutory rates

From 7 April 2024:

  • Statutory maternity, adoption, shared parental, paternity and parental bereavement pay will increase from £172.48 to £184.03 per week
  • Statutory sick pay will increase from £109.40 to £116.75 per week.
Tribunal awards

For any dismissals which take effect on or after 6 April 2024, the cap on the compensatory award will be the lower of £115,115 (up from £105,707) or 52 weeks' gross pay.

The limit on a week's pay will rise from £643 to £700 from 6 April 2024. As a result, the maximum basic award and statutory redundancy payment will be £21,000.

Workbox by Brodies

You can find detailed information and templates on Workbox by Brodies, our online HR and employment law site, at the following pages:

There is also a What's New? page which allows users to track other forthcoming changes such as the regulation of tips and service charges; a new statutory code on 'fire and rehire'; a new right for some workers to request a more predictable work pattern; and the duty on employers to take reasonable steps to prevent sexual harassment at work.

If you are not a Workbox subscriber, please get in touch to find out more.


Julie Keir

Practice Development Lawyer