January brings major changes to UK employment law

Changes to the law in January
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Peninsula Team, Peninsula Team

(Last updated )

2024 is set to be a busy year with plenty of legislative changes taking effect at various points throughout the year.

The Government has just announced that it is backtracking on the proposed increase from spring 2024 to the salary required for family visas, and that the proposed increase to £38,700 will not now take place. Instead, it plans to initially set it at £29,000.

Here is a reminder of what is happening in January 2024.

From 1 January 2024:

  • Covid holiday carry-over ends — the emergency rules on annual leave which were implemented in 2020 meant that workers could carry over four weeks of leave into the next two leave years where it was not reasonably practicable for them to take it because of the effects of Covid. From 1 January 2024, this will be removed, and employees who have any “Covid carry-over leave” accrued by that date but have not yet taken it, have until 31 March 2024 to use it
  • remaining rules on holiday carry-over continue — nothing is actually changing here but as these rights derive from ECJ case law, it has had to be added to our legislation to ensure that the status quo is maintained. There will continue, therefore, to be a right of carry-over in the following situations.
  1. Where a worker was unable to take holiday due to being on maternity leave or other family-friendly leave — they can carry over 5.6 weeks to the following leave year.
  2. Where a worker was unable to take holiday due to sickness — they can carry over four weeks of leave for 18 months after the end of the leave year in which the leave was accrued.
  • legislation will be updated to state that for leave years starting on or after 1 April 2024, employers can lawfully pro rata holiday entitlement for part-year and irregular hours workers, and if they want to do so, can again use rolled-up holiday pay but only for these types of workers. Remember that whilst the new Regulations have been made, the new rules will not apply until the next full leave year starting on or after 1 April 2024.

From 16 January 2024, subject to parliamentary approval, the immigration health surcharge is set to increase from £624 to £1035.

Finally, from 22 January 2024, if approved by Parliament, the civil penalty when an employer is found to have employed foreign workers unlawfully will increase:

  • to £45,000 per illegal worker for a first breach
  • to £60,000 for repeated breaches.

For more information on more legal changes throughout 2024, visit BrAInbox today for instant answers to questions like What are the key dates for new employment laws in 2024?

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