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UK Employment Law Changes in 2024: A Brief Overview

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1. Neonatal Care (Leave and Pay) Act

  • Employees now have a day-one right to 12 weeks of leave if their child is in neonatal care.
  • Neonatal care pay requires a minimum of 26 weeks' service.
  • Leave can be taken in individual days or half days.
  • Neonatal care must start within 28 days of birth and last at least seven days.
  • Leave must be taken within 68 weeks of the child's birth.

2. Carer's Leave Act

  • Effective April 6, carers can take one week's unpaid leave per year to care for a dependant with long-term needs.
  • Leave can be taken in individual days or half days.

3. Employment of (Allocation of Tips)  Act

  • Effective next year, this Act ensures fair allocation of tips and service charges among all workers.
  • Employers must have a written policy on tips and keep records for three years.

4. Protection from Redundancy (Pregnancy and Family Leave) Act

  • Effective April 6 extends protection to pregnant employees and those returning from maternity, adoption, or shared parental leave.
  • Offers the right to a suitable alternative role before redundancy, with preference.

5. Workers (Predictable Terms and Conditions) Act

  • Expected in September 2024, grants a statutory right to request a predictable working pattern.
  • Covers workers, including agency and zero-hours workers, on fixed-term contracts of 12 months or less.

6. Employment Relations (Flexible Working) Act

  • Fully effective on April 6, enhances flexible working rights.
  • Allows employees to make two formal flexible working requests in a 12-month period.
  • Day-one right starting April 6, 2024 (before, 26 weeks' continuous employment required).

7. Worker Protection (Amendment of Equality Act 2020) Act

  • Expected from October 2024, places a statutory duty on all employers to prevent sexual harassment in the workplace.
  • Failure to take reasonable steps may result in enforcement by the Equality and Human Rights Commission.
  • Successful tribunal claims subject to a compensation uplift of up to 25 percent.

Key Note:

  • Business owners and HR managers are advised to stay updated on new legislation, considering the implications for their organization promptly.
  • Understanding and implementing these changes not only reduces legal risk but also promotes fairness and well-being in the workplace.

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