Seven ways to update your HR in April

  • Employment Law
two office workers holding a laptop and tablet. A gavel is placed on the table.
Kate Palmer FCIPD - Director of HR Advice and Consultancy at global employment law consultancy, Peninsula.

Kate Palmer, HR Advice and Consultancy Director

(Last updated )

As you’re (hopefully) aware, a swarm of HR updates are coming in 2024.

And to make sure you’re prepared for big legal changes this April, learn all about the first batch of HR laws you’ll need to be ready for…

Statutory carer’s leave

The first up on our list of April updates is the new leave entitlement for employees.

Under the brand new Carer’s Leave Act, employees will have the right to take a certain amount of time off work every rolling 12 months to care for a dependant.

They’ll just need to meet the following criteria to do this:

  1. They must be taking time off to care for a dependant – so this could be a family member or someone outside of the family who relies on your employee for care.
  2. Their dependant must have a long-term care need – so this could be a disability or illness that is likely to last for more than three months.

To learn more about the new right to Carer’s leave and your employee’s allowance if they’re deemed eligible, tap below:

New flexible working rules

Next up, we have the new flexible working rules.

The government has confirmed that current rules around flexible working are changing. So, businesses will need to prepare themselves for a new way of managing flexible working requests very soon.

To learn more about the new flexible working rules, tap below:

The return of rolled up holiday pay

Rolled up holiday pay has been an unlawful practice for a few years now.

With rolled-up holiday pay, employers were able to pay workers their holiday pay at the same time as their usual wage, usually topped onto their hourly rate. They would commonly use this method for irregular-hour workers and part-year staff.

Currently, there’s a ban on rolled-up holiday pay. But from April, some businesses will be able to use it again.

To find out more about how to pay staff holidays using the rolled-up method, tap below:

Changes to paternity leave

There are a couple of big changes coming for employees on family leave - and we'll start by looking at the update around paternity leave.

So currently, employees have a right to a maximum of two weeks of paternity leave. They have to take their allowance in full, otherwise they lose some of their entitlement.

This means that if an employee only chooses to take one week of their paternity leave, they forfeit their second week. But under new plans, employees will have greater flexibility over how they can use their paternity leave allowance.

To find out how paternity leave rules are changing, tap below:

Extended protection from redundancy for pregnant staff

You should be aware that from April, the protection for certain employees in a redundancy will extend.

At present, certain employees have more rights than others in a redundancy. So, if you do have no choice but to make staff redundant, you have to follow particular rules.

One of these rules is that you have to offer employees who are on maternity, adoption, or shared parental leave the first choice of a suitable alternative role before any other employees.

Well under new rules, this right will now extend to pregnant employees too. Plus, the length of time that anyone on family leave has under this protection will be longer.

To find out how this special protection applies to your pregnant staff, tap below:

Changes to national minimum wage

The government has confirmed that national minimum wage bands will change from April 2024. This legal change means that the highest band of NMW will be open to workers aged 21 and over.

Minimum wage brackets for everyone else will stay the same – but rates are increasing. To find out what the brand new rates are for April, tap below:

Changes to statutory payments

When minimum wage rates are set to rise, there will be a rise in statutory payments too.

So, be ready for increases in maternity, paternity, and adoption leave - as well as sick pay. To find out what the new rate of sick pay is for April 2024, tap below:

You can also check out the new rates for family leave here.

Need more support?

We understand that employment law changes are a lot to handle. So if you'd like some support and advice, you speak to an HR expert directly via our live chatbot here.

Alternatively, tap below to book in for a free advice call.

If you have a question about how a particular update will affect you and your paperwork, don’t hesitate to get in touch. Our team of HR experts are here to help keep you legally safe and up to date.

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