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Employment Update for Small Businesses
October 2023

Dear subscriber

This month we have information about a new right for workers that is on its way. Also, just to note that the planned changes to the right to request flexible working, reported in our August update, are expected to come into force around July 2024. We will, of course, provide more information and confirmation of the actual date as soon as we have it.
Please contact me if you would like to find out a bit more about any of the subjects raised in this update or if you need any help or advice.

Please forward this email to any of your contacts who might find it of benefit.

Peter Etherington
Tel: 01664 668164

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Peter Etherington
Workers (Predictable Terms and Conditions) Act 2023
Right to request a more predictable working pattern
This Act has recently received Royal Assent and is expected to become law in September 2024. It is a new statutory right for workers that allows them to request a more predictable working pattern in certain circumstances. More details will be confirmed in due course, and ACAS will be preparing a code of practice covering this entitlement.

To be eligible, workers must have 26 weeks’ service (although it is possible these will not need to be continuous).

It will apply to workers who currently have an uncertain working pattern (e.g. those on zero hours contracts or with very flexible working arrangements); those with fixed-term contracts of 12 months or less, who can request a longer term fixed period or for the fixed term to be converted to open-ended; and agency workers who have similar concerns about uncertainty over working patterns, etc.

A maximum of two such applications may be made in any 12-month period. Employers will be required to deal with requests reasonably and to notify the worker of the outcome within one month.

Employers may refuse a request as long as it is for a permitted reason. The list of permitted reasons may develop in due course, but currently it includes the burden of additional costs, insufficient work during the periods the worker has asked to work, detrimental effect on ability to meet customer demand, detrimental impact on the recruitment of staff,  detrimental impact on other aspects of the employer’s business, and planned structural changes.

We will be drawing up policies to cover this new entitlement for our clients in due course, once the detail has been confirmed.

National Minimum and Living Wage
The current National Living Wage and National Minimum Wage rates are:

  • £10.42 per hour for workers aged 23 and over
  • £10.18 per hour for workers aged 21 to 22
  • £7.49 per hour for workers aged 18 to 20
  • £5.28 per hour for workers aged 16 and 17
  • £5.28 per hour for apprentices under 19 and those over 19 in their first year*

*N.B. Apprentices over 19 and who have completed at least one year are entitled to the appropriate rate for their age.


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