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New legislation alert: dates revealed for three HR legal updates in 2024

New legislation alert: dates revealed for three HR legal updates in 2024
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Peninsula Team, Peninsula Team

(Last updated )

In the space of one day, the Government released news on start dates for three significant HR legal changes in 2024

Flexible working

New legislation coming into force on 6 April 2024 amends the Flexible Working Regulations 2014 and ensures that the right to make a flexible working application applies when an employee begins employment (a day one right).

Currently, the Regulations impose a condition on employees to have been continuously employed for 26 weeks before being entitled to make a flexible working application.

No conditions as to duration of employment need to be satisfied by an employee in order to be entitled to make a flexible working application on or after the date these regulations come into force (6 April 2024).

Other amendments to the current flexible working process are also planned, such as increasing the permitted number of statutory requests an employee may make per 12-month period from one to two. Further regulations are needed to bring the remaining changes into force. Although it is still to be confirmed, it is likely that all changes will come into force on 6 April 2024.

Redundancy protection for new and expectant parents

The Maternity Leave, Adoption Leave and Shared Parental Leave (Amendment) Regulations 2024 are also set to be brought into force on 6 April 2024.

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These regulations (still in draft form) will extend the added protection currently afforded to employees on maternity, adoption and shared parental leave during a redundancy exercise. Employees on these types of leave have a right to be offered a suitable alternative vacancy, where one exists, before all other employees.

Employees who inform their employer of their pregnancy on or after 6 April 2024 will also now receive the added protection throughout their pregnancy and all the way through to 18 months after the baby’s date of birth if the employee tells their employer of this date. If not, the protected period will end 18 months after the expected week of childbirth. Employees taking adoption leave will be covered for 18 months from the date of placement.

Employees whose maternity leave or adoption leave ends on or after 6 April 2024 will be entitled to the added protection in so far as it applies to the period after the birth/adoption.

Carer’s leave

The draft Carer’s Leave Regulations will introduce a brand new right for employees to take time off work, subject to parliamentary approval, from 6 April 2024.

Carer’s leave will be available to eligible employees from the first day of their employment. Staff will be able to take a maximum one working week of leave, per 12 month rolling period, flexibly to suit their caring responsibilities and will not need to provide evidence of how the leave is used or who it will be used for, ensuring, the Government said, a smoother process for both businesses and their employees.

Eligible employees are those who have caring responsibilities for a dependant who has a long term care need.

For more information on the changes to flexible working, visit BrAInbox today where you can find answers to questions like Can employees ask for flexible working from day one of employment?

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