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| 2 minutes read

Employment Blog: A recap of legal changes effective from 6 April 2024

It is undoubtedly an unprecedented year of changes in Employment Law. Whilst these changes have been covered in detail in our previous blogs, we thought a quick recap of all the changes that came into force on 6 April 2024 wouldn't go amiss!

Flexible working 

Employees now have the right to request flexible working from day one of their employment and are now able to make two flexible working requests in any 12-month period. Employees no longer have to provide an explanation of what effect, if any, they think their request will have on their employer and how such effect may be addressed by the employer. The time for an employer to deal with the request has been reduced from 3 to 2 months (including any appeal). 

Carer’s Leave 

A new statutory right to unpaid carer’s leave was introduced.

Employees now have the right, from day one of their employment, to request up to one week of carer’s leave every 12 months (provided they meet the eligibility criteria) to provide or arrange care for a dependant with a long-term care need. Employees are also now able to take this leave in increments of single or half days with a notice requirement of 3 days or double the length of leave they are requesting, whichever is longer. Employers are not however able to refuse leave, but such leave may be postponed if reasonable to do so, so long as the leave is taken within one month of the request. 

Paternity Leave 

Amendments to existing regulations have introduced some key changes to the paternity leave regime. 

Fathers and partners are now able to take their leave (and pay) as two non-consecutive blocks of one week at any point in the first year after the birth/adoption so long as they give the required notice. 

These new changes apply in relation to children whose expected week of birth/adoption is after 6 April 2024. 

Protection from Redundancy (Pregnancy and Family Leave) Act 2023

Previously, employees on maternity leave, adoption leave and shared parental leave were given priority over other employees in being offered any suitable alternative roles available when their existing role was being made redundant. 

Redundancy protection has now been extended to apply both during pregnancy and for the period of 18 months after the birth or placement of a child for those taking maternity, adoption or shared parental leave. 

Note that employees taking less than 6 weeks’ shared parental leave will have the protection during their period of leave. 

Annual increase to Injury to Feeling Awards

The Presidents of the Employment Tribunals (England and Wales) have issued Presidential Guidance updating the Vento bands for damages for injury to feelings in discrimination cases. 

The updated Vento bands that now apply are: 

  • a lower band of £1,200 to £11,700 (less serious cases);
  • a middle band of £11,700 to £35,200 (cases that do not merit an award in the upper band); 
  • an upper band of £35,200 to £58,700 (the most serious cases); and 
  • with the most exceptional cases capable of exceeding £58,700.

Compensation limits for awards in the Employment Tribunal and other statutory payments

The Government recently announced the annual changes in compensation and other statutory payments.

Compensation for an unfair dismissal claim is split into basic and compensatory awards. There is a statutory cap of 52 weeks actual gross pay or a numerical cap (whichever is lower) on the compensatory award. The numerical cap has now increased from £105,707 to £115,115. 

The limit on the weekly pay for statutory redundancy payments increased from £643 to £700. 

If you have any questions, please get in touch with a member of our Employment Team.


employment, employment, employment & pensions blog, employers