Latest Employment Law Updates for 2024




Back to BlogRead More

Latest Employment Law Updates for 2024

There has recently been a series of legislative changes that may affect your business. We have listed the latest employment law updates that companies need to be aware of below.

  1. National Insurance rates reduction – effective 6 January 2024

    Across the UK, National Insurance will be cut by 2% (from 12%) for those earning between £12,570 and £50.270. Self-employed workers will pay 9%. Class 2 National Insurance for the self-employed will be abolished.  

Do work practices need to change?

Your payroll team need to capture these changes.    

  1. Equality Act 2010 (Amendment) Regulations 2023 – effective 1 January 2024

    There have been amendments to the Equality Actto reproduce and retain various rights and principles of equality and discrimination law in England, Scotland and Wales. This relates to EU law that otherwise expired on 31 December 2023.   

Do work practices need to change?

Your organisation should be aware that the following items have been addressed;

  • direct discrimination related to pregnancy,
  • maternity and breastfeeding,
  • indirect associative discrimination,
  • discriminatory statements about recruitment,
  • single source tests in equal pay claims and the definition of disability
  1. Employment Rights (Amendment, Revocation and Transitional Provision) Regulations 2023 – effective 1 January 2024

Do work practices need to change?

  • Your organisation will need to ensure that you have updated your practices. These include record keeping of working hours, rolled up holiday pay (RHP) for irregular hours and part time workers. This also includes TUPE consultation policies for businesses with fewer than 50 employees (and no existing representation). For more details, see track changes enacted under RUEL.

  1. Right to work fines triple – effective 22 January 2024

    Illegal working fines will triple to £45,000 per worker for first breaches and £60,000 per worker for repeat breaches in the UK.    

Do work practices need to change?

If you are an organisation without substantial right to work checks in place, you should take note. A draft code suggests that all right to work checks must include:

  • a manual right to work check OR
  • a right to work check using Identity Document a Validation Technology (IDVT) OR
  • a Home Office online right to work check, where you receive emailed check codes from workers.

  1. National Minimum/Living Wage changes – effective 1 April 2024
  • For people aged over 21, the National Minimum (Living) Wage will rise from £10.42 to £11.44.  
  • For people aged 18-20, the National Minimum (Living) Wage will rise from £7.49 to £8.60.  
  • For people aged 16-17 and apprentices, the National Minimum (Living) Wage will increase from £5.28 to £6.40.
  1. Employment Relations (Flexible Working) Act 2023 – effective 6 April 2024

    An actmaking a day one right for employees in England, Scotland and Wales, allowing two flexible working requests in a 12-month period. 

Do work practices need to change?

  • Your organisation needs to ensure you have policies and practices in place to respond to these requests; both suitably and within the legal time-period. The act states that an employee can make two flexible working requests a year. There must be a consultation between both parties and employers must respond within two months.
  1. Carer’s Leave Act 2023 – effective 6 April 2024

This introduces a right for a statutory leave entitlement of five working days every 12 months for unpaid carers across the UK. However, it will only take effect in Northern Ireland if legislation is passed there.

Do work practices need to change?

  • This is a new right and employers will need to prepare for it. It is a day one right and applies to anyone who is the carer for a person with a long-term care need. The leave may be taken in half-days, full days or blocks of time. The notice for leave is twice as much time as the leave required or at the employers’ discretion for shorter notice. Employers can postpone leave when certain conditions are considered.
  1. Protection from Redundancy (Pregnancy and Family Leave) Act 2023 – to be confirmed under consultation and likely to be effective from 6 April 2024.
  2. Employment (Allocation of Tips) Act 2023 – consultation until 22 February 2024, effective 6 April 2024.
  3. Changes to Immigration rules regarding Employers Sponsorship visas for skilled staff amendments – effective January 2024. However, banning care worker spouses bringing immediate family to the UK effective 11 March 2024, and minimum salary elements take effect 6 April 2024.

What are the key 5 amendments and when will the changes take effect?

  1. Banning newly arriving care workers from bringing immediate family will take effect on 11 March 2024.
  2. The Skilled Worker minimum salary increase will happen on 4 April 2024.
  3. Initial changes to the shortage occupation list will also happen in April 2024 (very likely 4 April). The Migration Advisory Committee is working on its recommendation for the new list.
  4. The spouse/partner visa minimum income will first increase to £29,000 on 11 April 2024. This increases to around £34,500 at an unspecified time later in 2024 and finally to around £38,700 “by early 2025”.
  5. The Home Office was supposed to commission the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) to begin work on the Graduate visa review in January 2024. At the time of writing, this is yet to be done – the committee is expected to report late 2024.

Will MPs vote to approve or reject the amendments?

This is reported as “unlikely” on Government online publications and news. Revision of visa regulations is done through statements of changes to the Immigration Rules. The Government says it intends to lay two such statements before Parliament, one on 19 February 2024 and another on 14 March 2024.

Changes to the Immigration Rules take effect automatically, unless either the House of Commons or House of Lords actively votes to annul them within 40 days. Usually, there is no vote. The Government is not obliged to make time for one in the Commons, even if a motion against the changes is tabled (this can be done as an Early Day Motion).

If there is a vote on changes to the Immigration Rules, the proposed changes cannot be amended. They can either be accepted or voted down in their entirety. Please note, however, no further legislation is required.

Other Changes

  1. Workers (Predictable Terms and Conditions) Act 2023 – effective September 2024

    This act allows employees who work unpredictable hours to make two predictable working pattern requests a year in England, Scotland and Wales.

Do work practices or procedures change?

Yes, subject to current work practices, policies and procedures need to meet the minimum requirement.

  1. Worker Protection (Amendment of Equality Act 2010) Act 2023

    Policies, procedures, or practices may need to change and be in place to account for the new law. The act requires companies to schedule timely meetings with employees making a request. Decisions should be made based on evidence and accurate records of meetings should be made. Decisions should be issued within one month of a request or appeal. 

The act signals a major change in sexual harassment law in England, Scotland and Wales. This places a significant responsibility on employers to stop sexual harassment in the workplace. The onus has moved from the victim to report and raise an issue – instead, employers need to take reasonable steps to prevent sexual harassment. The Equalities and Human Rights Commission will be able to take action against firms who breach their duties. Compensation in such cases can be increased by 25%.

Do work practices need to change?

Ahead of commencement, organisations should risk assess their workplaces and clarify their policies. Issue training to all employees to ensure best practice fairness and equality arises.

How can we help?

At ELHR, we provide a variety of Employment Law and HR services. Our experienced consultants can advise you on the impact of these changes on your working practices. Should you need a HR Consultant, Solicitor, or Employment Barrister, ELHR can help.

If you would like HR advice on how your company will be affected by the latest employment law updates, please call us now on 0116 326 1636.