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Peter Etherington
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Employment Update for Small Businesses
April 2024

Dear Subscriber

As there are so many changes commencing this month in HR and employment law, I thought it would be a good idea to provide a summary here.
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
Employment Law Changes
Effective 1st April 2024
Holiday Pay
There is a new method of calculating holiday entitlement and pay for those who work irregular hours (e.g. those on zero hours contracts). It commences from the start of the holiday year falling on or after 1st April (so if your holiday year is January to December, it starts on 1st January 2025).

It allows you to pay holiday pay as it accrues (rolled up holiday pay) at the statutory rate of 12.07% of earnings. You just need to pay this amount each pay period and ensure it is shown as a separate entry on the payslip.

As holiday is paid as you go, if someone takes time off for holiday, the holiday period will be unpaid.

As this may amount to a change to terms and conditions of employment you may need to seek agreement for this change from your employees (please call us if you need any support).

Effective 6th April 2024
Carer’s Leave
Employees who have a dependant with a long-term care need will have the right to up to one week’s unpaid carer’s leave per year. Leave can be taken in blocks of half and full days.

Flexible Working
The long-standing statutory right to request flexible working is being extended so that it applies from the first day of employment and so that up to two requests can be made in any 12-month period. Employers will have to consult with workers before refusing a request and the whole process mush be concluded within two months.

Redundancy Protection for Pregnant Workers and Those Returning from Family Leave
The protected period is to be extended. For pregnant employees it starts on the day they notify the employer they are pregnant. For those who are adopting or taking Shared Parental Leave, it commences from the date of placement, expected week of childbirth or date of birth (whichever is sooner), and it lasts for 18 months.

During the protected period, employees have the right to be offered suitable alternative employment in a redundancy situation ahead of anyone else.

Rate Changes
From 6th April 2024 (7th April for Family Friendly Payments)
As reported last month, the statutory rates are increasing for:

  • Sick pay
  • Maternity pay
  • Adoption pay
  • Paternity pay
  • Shared parental pay
  • The cap on a week’s pay (for redundancy pay calculations)
  • Guarantee pay (for those temporarily laid off)

The new minimum wage rates are set out below. As they are increasing quite dramatically, it is a good idea to check the pay for your lower paid staff to ensure they do not drop below the minimum rates; you may need to consider enhancing rates for higher paid staff to ensure that there are sufficient differentials in pay for different levels of staff.

National Minimum and Living Wage
From 1st April 2024, the minimum wage bands have increased to:

  • £11.44 per hour for workers aged 21 and over
  • £8.60 per hour for workers aged 18 to 20
  • £6.40 per hour for workers aged 16 and 17; and 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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