April changes final reminder

  • Employment Law
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Peninsula Team, Peninsula Team

(Last updated )

There are a lot of employment law changes in April, so, here is a recap of what is happening and when.

National Living Wage and statutory payments

The minimum wage rates will increase for pay reference periods starting on or after 1 April 2024. They increase around this time every year, but this year there is another change. This is because the age threshold to receive National Living Wage (NLW) will, for the first time, be lowered from 23 to 21-year-olds.

The NLW rate will increase to £11.44 per hour. The National Minimum Wage, for those aged 18 to 20, will increase to £8.60. The rate for those over school age, but not yet 18, will be £6.40 and the apprentice rate will also increase to £6.40.

Statutory payments are also rising. Statutory Sick Pay will increase, from 6 April 2024, to £116.75 per week. Statutory Maternity Pay and other family leave payments will increase to £184.03 per week from 7 April 2024.

Carer’s Leave

From 6 April 2024, employees who have a dependant with a long-term care need will have a brand-new right to take carer’s leave. They will be able to take up to one working week of unpaid leave per 12 months, to provide or arrange care.

Enhanced protection in a redundancy

Employees who are on maternity leave already have enhanced protection when in a redundancy situation to be offered suitable alternative employment, when it is available, ahead of anyone else. From 6 April 2024, this will be extended so that pregnant employees will also have this enhanced right when faced with redundancy which will continue until 18 months after the birth of their child. The enhanced treatment will also apply to adoption and shared parental leave arrangements.

Paternity leave

How an employee can take paternity leave will also change when the expected week of childbirth is after 6 April 2024 and the date of placement is on or after 6 April 2024. Employees will be able to take the two weeks of leave as two separate weeks and will have a year from the birth or adoption to take it. The notice they need to give will also change. They will need to give notice of their entitlement to take paternity leave in or before the 15th week before the expected week of the child’s birth and then they will need to only give 28 days’ notice of when they want to take the leave.

What happens with the new paternity leave rules when the baby is premature?

If an employee cares for both elderly parents, do they get two lots of carer's leave?

When calculating the amount of rolled up holiday pay due, which elements of pay do I use in the calculation?

Flexible working

Employees will no longer need to have 26 weeks continuous service to bring a flexible working request on or after 6 April 2024. Other changes to flexible working are also expected.  Employees will also be able to bring two requests per year, they will no longer have to explain what impact they think their proposed change will have, and businesses will have to deal with requests within two months, rather than 3 months, and must consult the employee before declining any request. However, it has not yet been confirmed when these additional four changes will take effect.

Holiday entitlement and pay for irregular hours and part year workers

For leave years starting on or after 1 April 2024, holiday for irregular and part year workers will accrue on the last day of the pay period, at the rate of 12.07% of hours worked in that pay period. Holiday entitlement will, therefore, be proportionate to the time spent working.

Holiday pay can then be paid when the worker takes the holiday by calculating the average pay of the previous 52 weeks. Alternatively, another option is rolled-up holiday pay. This is where an extra 12.07% of total pay for the work done in the pay period is paid in each pay packet. With this option, it is important that the pay slip clearly sets out the amount of holiday pay that has been paid in that period.

If moving to the pro-rata method for holiday entitlement and/or rolled-up holiday pay is a change to their current terms, then it must first be agreed with the individual themselves.

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