Upcoming changes to employment law: what you need to know

changes in Employment law

Some areas of Employment law could look different by the end of 2024, with a number of amendments to legislation expected to come forward this year.

To keep you in the loop, the Thrings Employment team run through the top changes to be aware of that will come into force between now and the summer.


1. Already off the starting block - COVID leave carryover deadline

From 1 January 2024, workers can no longer carry over leave not taken due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Employees should ensure all COVID-related leave not taken is utilised by this date.

When: 31 March

2. Expansion of National Living Wage age band

The National Living Wage age band will be extended to encompass workers aged 21 and over, expanding from the current threshold of 23 years and above, accompanied by corresponding rate adjustments. Employers should review their payroll practices to accommodate these alterations.

When: 1 April


3. Changes to holiday rules

Modifications to holiday entitlement calculations and permissibility of rolled-up holiday pay (at an accrual rate of 12.07%) for part-year and irregular hour workers will come into effect. The aim is to make it easier for employers to calculate holiday entitlement for such workers, and to ensure that worker holiday entitlement better reflects the hours they work across the year.

When: 1 April


4. Amendments to flexible working regulations

Long awaited and much publicised amendments to flexible working regulations, including ‘day one’ rights (with the removal of the 26-week service requirement), will come into effect. Employees will also be able to make two requests in any 12-month period, this is up from one.  Additionally, employees will no longer have to explain the effect of the change requested, as they do currently, and employers will have to make a decision on a request within two months (this includes any appeal). Employers should familiarise themselves with these changes to effectively handle employees’ requests and update flexible working policies accordingly.

When: 6 April


5. Introduction of statutory carer’s leave and pay

A new entitlement of one week of unpaid leave annually for employees who care for dependants with long term needs will be introduced for employees in England, Wales and Scotland. This right to leave will be available to all employees from day one of employment. “Long term needs” is defined as:

  • Anyone with a condition that meets the definition of disability under the Equality Act 2010;
  • Illness or injury (physical or mental) that requires or is likely to require care for more than three months, or;
  • Old age.

Employers should review their policies to ensure alignment with the new regulations.

When: 6 April


6. Changes to paternity leave

Changes are being introduced that will allow fathers and partners to take 2 weeks paternity leave within a longer period. Currently, only one block of leave can be taken, which can be either one or two weeks and must be taken within 56 days of the birth or adoption of the child; this will be updated so it can be taken in non-consecutive blocks at any time in the 52 weeks after the birth or adoption. Additionally, employees have to give notice of their intention to take Paternity Leave no later than 15 weeks before the Expected Week of Childbirth or the week in which the main adopter is notified of having been matched with the child; they will now only have to give 28 days’ notice.  Employers should update their parental leave policies accordingly.

When: 6 April


7. Extension of redundancy protection

Currently, employees on maternity/adoption/shared parental leave have enhanced protections in redundancy situations, including the right to be offered a suitable alternative vacancy over other employees at risk, if one is available. This protection is being expanded to include pregnant employees, from the moment they notify their employer of their pregnancy, through to 18 months after childbirth.

This is a significant change and employers should ensure compliance with these extended protections.

When: 6 April


8. Proposed new rates for statutory pay

The annual increases and proposed rates for statutory pay, include £184.03 for statutory maternity, paternity, adoption, shared parental and parental bereavement pay, and £116.75 for statutory sick pay. Employees should monitor these proposed changes for future planning.

When: 8 April


9. Direct consultation on TUPE transfers

New rules permitting direct consultation with affected staff in relation to ‘TUPE’ transfers (under the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations will be introduced for small businesses or transfers involving fewer employees. The update will mean that businesses with fewer than 50 employees, and businesses of any size who are proposing a transfer of fewer than 10 employees, will be permitted to consult with employees directly rather than through representatives.

When: 1 July


Laura Shermon, Solicitor in the Thrings Employment team said In an ever-evolving field, employers need to stay up-to-date on the latest changes to employment law, both to ensure they can benefit from new opportunities as well as to protect themselves from potential risk.

“With such an array of changes set to arrive in the coming months, it can be challenging to stay on top of it all and we encourage business owners to seek legal advice on how their internal policies and processes can be futureproofed.”

Thrings’ Employment lawyers are experienced in dealing with business matters that affect the workforce and has acted for both employers and employees from start-ups and SMEs all the way to multinational corporations across a wide range of employment matters. To find out how they can help strengthen your polices, and solve your disputes, please get in contact.

Thrings employment lawyers

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