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Employment Law Changes April 2024


Along with changes to National Living and Minimum Wage rates and to National Insurance Contributions, April sees the introduction of two significant pieces of Employment Legislation, the Carer’s Leave Act and the Employment Relations (Flexible Working) Act.

Here’s some of the key information you should know along with links where you can find out more information:

Employment Relations (Flexible Working Act)

When does this come into force: 6th April 2024

Designed to improve flexible working rights, the Act makes a number of changes to existing flexible working rights and the process employees and employers must follow.

Key points:

  • Employees will now be able to request flexible working from their first day in a new job – previously this had been after 26 weeks’ of continuous employment.
  • Employees will now be able to make two applications in any 12-month period - previously this was just one.
  • Employees no longer need to explain what effect their request will have on the employer or how the impact might be dealt with.
  • Employers will be required to consult with the employee when they make a flexible working request before rejecting it.
  • Employers must now make a decision within 2 months of receiving the request – previously this had been 3.
  • An employer can refuse an application if they have a good business reason for doing so; the eight statutory grounds for rejecting a flexible working request remain unchanged.

Find out more: www.gov.uk/flexible-working


Carer’s Leave Act

When does this come into force: 6th April 2024

From the 6th April, employees will be entitled to up to one week of unpaid leave every 12 months to give or arrange care for a dependant with a long-term care need such as illness, injury, disability, or old age.

Key points:

  • A ‘week’ means “the length of time they usually work over 7 days”. Therefore if someone typically works 4 days over a 7 day period they will be entitled to 4 days carer’s leave.
  • Leave can be taken in individual days or half days.
  • The dependant doesn’t need to be a family member, it can be anyone who relies on them for care.
  • Employees do not need to give evidence of dependent’s care needs.
  • Employees cannot take a week per person they care for; they can only take one week in total every 12 months.
  • The week of carer’s leave can be used to support more than one dependent.
  • Employees are entitled to carer’s leave from the first day of work for their employer.
  • Employment rights are protected during carer’s leave eg holidays, returning to their job.
  • Request for time must be given before their leave.
    • o ½ - 1 day leave = at least 3 days’ notice
    • o 1+ days leave = at least twice as long as the requested leave.
  • Employers cannot refuse a carer’s leave request but there are some situations where they can ask to delay it.
  • This is separate to parental leave.

Find out more: https://www.gov.uk/carers-leave 


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Posted by: Escape Recruitment Services