The new HR policies you need in 2024

  • HR Policies Documentation
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Kate Palmer FCIPD - Director of HR Advice and Consultancy at global employment law consultancy, Peninsula.

Kate Palmer, HR Advice and Consultancy Director

(Last updated )

An influx of HR updates are on their way, ready to render your documents out of date and vulnerable to legal risk.

So as one of your less exciting New Year’s resolutions, it’s time to make paperwork a priority. And to make sure you know what does need to be at the top of the pile, here are the big updates for 2024.

To get ready for the year ahead, you’ll need to update your HR policies or create fresh ones to reflect NEW…

Leave entitlements

The government confirms that there will be a number of new leave entitlements for certain members of staff. So, it’s vital that you make sure that your policies cover these new employee rights:

1. Statutory carer’s leave.

This new leave entitlement will give eligible staff the right to take up to a week of unpaid leave a year to care for a dependant with a long-term care need.

2. Statutory neonatal care leave.

This new leave entitlement will give some parents up to 12 weeks of extra leave on top of maternity and paternity allowances. This is if their newborn baby has been in hospital (subject to eligibility criteria).

3. Holiday entitlement for irregular hour and part-year workers.

The way you calculate holiday for irregular hour staff is changing again. So if this applies to you then you’ll need to factor this change into your holiday policy.

Pay entitlements

It’s soon to be that time of year again. In April, national living wage will rise again. And as always, you’ll need to update your contracts and policies in line with the new and updated rates.

The government says that…

1. National minimum wage is set to increase to £11.44 an hour. Plus, the National Living Wage threshold will lower, allowing 21 year olds to also climb into the top bracket.

2. Statutory sick pay will rise to £116.75 a week.

3. Family leave entitlements like maternity, paternity, and adoption pay will rise to £184.03 a week.

And as mentioned earlier, holiday calculations are changing for certain types of workers. So, this includes how you figure out holiday pay.

You might have already heard that the practice of rolled up holiday pay will become lawful again for irregular hour and part-year workers. So, if you plan on using this method, you’ll need to make sure your holiday policy and employment contract covers this too.

Working time rights

Next, it’s time to review any policies you have around working arrangements because of:

1. New flexible working rules.

Employees will have a day one right to make two flexible working requests per year. You’ll also have to consult your employees before rejecting any request. So, if you have a flexible working policy – these new rules need to be in there.

2. New rights for workers with unstable working patterns.

Staff working unpredictable or unstable hours will soon have the right to request a more stable working arrangement. So if you employ casual or zero-hour workers, you’ll need to have a process for dealing with any requests if they come up. Plus, be ready with the paperwork to back it up.

Redundancy rights

Hopefully, you’ve not been in this position before. But if you have, then you’ll know that employees on maternity leave have more rights and protection from redundancy.

Well, you should also be aware that this same protection is going to be extended to pregnant employees. This protection will apply from the minute your employee tells you they’re pregnant up until 18 months after the birth of their child. This enhanced treatment will also apply to those on adoption and shared parental leave.

So if the worst does happen, make sure your redundancy policy and process takes this into account. Otherwise, you could find yourself dealing with a claim for automatic unfair dismissal.

Tipping rights

This is a big one for the hospitality, leisure and service sectors.

There’s going to be a brand new law for managing staff tips, making it a legal right for workers to receive a fair share of any extra cash they earn on the job. Businesses won’t be able to keep these from them by law.

One of the key rules of this new law is that you will have to have a tipping policy that your staff and members of the public can easily access.

Harassment law

And lastly, the existing law on managing workplace harassment is changing.

So you will now have a duty to take proactive steps to prevent sexual harassment. You should already be doing this but now it will actually be a legal responsibility to take reasonable steps to prevent harassment at work. These steps should include having a sexual harassment policy and offering thorough anti-harassment training to staff.

Discover expert documentation support

I know it’s a lot to take in. That’s why Peninsula has a team of documentation experts ready to take care of it for you and answer any questions you might have.

Discover expert documentation support.

To learn more about all the upcoming HR updates to prepare for 2024, you can check out our blog: The new HR laws expected in 2024 (and how to prepare). You can also book in for a free consultation with an expert if you’d like to speak to someone directly.

We’re here to help – so for free advice, just tap below.

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