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Employment Law Changes - 2024

carers leave employment law flexible working harassment illegal worker fines legislation minimum wage national living wage neonatal care leave paternity leave redundancy rights statutory rates tupe Mar 21, 2024

There are a number of important legislative changes to employment law that may impact your business if you do not take the right actions. This blog article provides you with information about these changes, when they take effect (or when they are expected to take effect in some cases), whilst also providing you with potential action steps to consider.


From 13th February 2024:

Illegal Worker Fines

Increase in fines payable by employers who employ illegal workers.

  • The fine for a first breach will increase from £15,000 to £45,000 per illegal worker.
  • For repeated breaches, the fine will increase from £20,000 up to £60,000.

Actions to consider:

  • Update your Right to Work Checks and Policies.
  • Complete all checks by the 1st day of employment.
  • Keep up to date and consistent records of checks completed and documents checked.
  • Add additional illegal worker clauses to Contract of Employment.


From 1st April 2024:

Increase in National Living and Minimum Wage

The National Living Wage age band will be expanded to include those aged 21 and over. 

The National Living Wage and National Minimum Wage rates will rise as follows:

  • The National Living Wage (for people aged 21 or older) will increase from £10.42 to £11.44 per hour.
  • The National Minimum Wage for workers aged 18–20 will increase from £7.49 to £8.60 per hour.
  • The young workers rate for workers aged 16–17 will increase from £5.28 to £6.40 per hour.
  • The apprentice rate for apprentices under 19, or over 19 and in the first year of the apprenticeship, will increase from £5.28 to £6.40 per hour.

Actions to consider:

  • Carry out a PAYE audit to identify any variations or implications.
  • Increase any employee pay that fails to meet the NLW.
  • Confirm this in writing to employee and keep a copy on file.


From 6th April 2024:

Flexible Working

  • This now becomes a day 1 right. This removes the requirement for employees to have at least 26 weeks service to enable them to make a flexible working request.
  • Employees can now make 2 requests within a 12month period.
  • Employers will now have a maximum time of 2 months to deal with a request, including any appeals.
  • Employees will no longer be required to set out the effect their requested arrangement will have on the business, nor suggest ways their employer can manage it.
  • The employer must carry out meaningful consultation with the employee before refusing a request.

Carers Leave

Introduction of a new statutory right for employees to take unpaid carers leave.

  • This now becomes a day 1 right.
  • Employees can take up to one week of leave every 12 months.

Paternity Leave

  • Allowed to be taken anytime within the first 52 weeks of birth or Adoption.
  • Can be taken as 2 separate weeks, 1 single week or 2 consecutive weeks.

Redundancy Rights

  • Extra protection against redundancy for pregnant employees through to 18 months after birth.
  • Extra protection against redundancy for employees on Adoption and Shared Parental Leave.
  • Applies from when an employee informs their employer on or after 6th April that they are pregnant.

Actions to consider for all of the above legislative changes:

  • Update all Policy documents.
  • Inform key managers within the business of these changes and how to manage requests.
  • Consult with your HR Representative when needed.
  • Follow Company Policies and Procedures.
  • Keep dated records and evidence of what has between discussed.


From 7th April 2024

Changes to Statutory Pay Rates (per week)

  • Sick Pay will increase from £109.40 to £116.75 (Lower earnings limit of £123)
  • Shared Parental pay will increase from £172.48 to £184.03.
  • Maternity Paternity and Adoption pay will increase from £172.48 to £184.03.
  • Parental Bereavement pay will increase from £172.48 to £184.03.

Actions to consider:

  • Update all Policy documents.
  • Increase or amend the pay of those who are affected by this change.


Expected changes for July 2024:


  • Permits employers to consult directly with staff affected by TUPE, rather than electing representatives. This will apply to businesses with 50 or fewer employees or transfers involving 10 or less employees.


Expected changes for October 2024:

Neonatal Care Leave

  • Allows a maximum of 12 weeks added to Maternity/Paternity Leave.
  • Paid at statutory rate if eligible.

Workplace Sexual Harassment

  • There will be a new proactive duty on employers to prevent sexual harassment.
  • If an employer has breached their duty of care in this respect, there will be an uplift in compensation levels. 

Actions to consider for all upcoming changes:

  • Consult with your HR Representative
  • If in doubt always contact your HR Representative for advice.
  • Update or create new Policy documents.
  • Amend work practices to meet the proposed legislation.


Whilst there are many changes being introduced this year to how employers must treat their employees, it is important to recognise which apply to your business and take the appropriate action.

If you require any further support or advice, please reach out.


HR Consultant


Disclaimer: To the best of our knowledge, all information was correct at the time of publishing. Legislative changes may occur frequently so ensuring that you are basing your actions on up to date information is important and remains your responsibility.