After a reasonably stable few years for employment legislation, a whole raft of amendments are being introduced in 2024 which are summarised in this HR Bulletin.

Flexible working

From April, workers will be able to request flexible working from day 1 of their employment, rather than after being employed for 6 months.  They will also be able to make up to 2 requests in 12 months rather than one and there will no longer be a requirement for workers to explain the impact of their requested change.  Employers, however, will need to consult with the employee before rejecting a request and they will have 2 months rather than 3 to respond to a request.

National Minimum Wage

As usual, the National Minimum Wage will increase in April this year, with the headline rate going up by 9.8%.  This year’s changes are also significant because the 21-22 year old age bracket will be removed (the top rate had applied to over 23’s) meaning they will get a14% increase while the rate for the youngest workers and apprentices will rise by 21.2%.

Redundancy protection for pregnant employees and those returning from family leave

The current protections for employees on maternity, adoption and shared parental leave will be extended to cover pregnant employees through to 18 months after the birth of their child.  If faced with redundancy, these employees will have the right to be offered suitable alternative employment and will have priority over other employees who are at risk of redundancy.  This will apply from April 2024.

Paternity leave

New fathers will no longer have to take a single block of leave of either one or two weeks.  They will now be able to take two single weeks and will be able to take these at any time during the first year of the child’s life, rather than within the first 56 days after the birth.  This will apply to births after 6th April 2024.

Carers leave

A new leave entitlement becomes available from 6th April and will be a day one of employment right.  It means that employees can apply for up to one week’s unpaid carer’s leave in any 12 month period if they have a dependent with long term care needs.

Holiday pay for workers with irregular hours or part-year working patterns

There will no longer be a requirement for workers on part-year contracts (such as term-time) to be given a full 5.6 weeks holiday pay.  Instead, they will accrue holidays at 12.07% of the hours worked and the same will apply to those working irregular hours.  Rolled up holiday pay will also be allowed for these categories of workers, so their holiday pay can be paid along with their normal monthly pay.  However, holiday pay must be shown separately on their payslip.

Predictable terms and conditions

Workers will have the right to request a more predictable working pattern – this is particularly aimed at workers with variable hours such as those on zero hours contracts.  Workers will be able to make 2 such requests per year.  This legislation is likely to come into effect in September 2024.


Businesses with less than 50 employees, and those transferring less than 10 employees will no longer face the requirement to elect representatives.  They will now be able to consult directly with employees unless there are already union or other representatives in place.

Prevention of sexual harassment

With effect from October 2024, employers will have a new duty to take “reasonable steps” to prevent sexual harassment of their employees.  Tribunal’s will be able to apply an uplift of 25% if a claim is successful and the employer has failed to take reasonable steps to prevent sexual harassment.

Effective April 2025 – Neonatal leave and pay

Parents of babies who are hospitalised for 7 days or more within 28 days of birth will be able to take up to 12 weeks leave.  This will be paid at the statutory rate in force at the time.


The team at Pennine HR have updated our clients’ employee handbooks and related documentation to reflect these changes.  We will also be on hand to answer any questions about these changes or any other aspect of people management – Call us on 01484 841776 to speak to a member of our team or email [email protected]