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At Jolliffes, we take care to provide clients with the most recent legal updates. With that in mind, here are a few key employment law changes, coming into force in 2024:


1.  Paternity Leave

From 8 March 2024, employees whose partner is either pregnant (and taking maternity leave) or adopting (and the employee’s partner is the main adopter, taking adoption leave) will have the right to take paternity leave in a series of smaller periods of leave, amounting to two weeks, rather than taking their paternity leave in one block of two weeks.

They will also now be permitted to take this leave at any time during the first year after their child’s birth/adoption, rather than being restricted to take the leave within the first 56 days after their child’s birth/adoption.


2.  Changes to the National Living Wage

The National Living Wage age band will be expanded to include workers aged 21 and over.

The National Living Wage and National Minimum Wage rates will rise as follows:

  • for people aged 21 or older, the NMW will increase from £10.42 to £11.44 per hour;
  • for people aged 18-20, the NMW will increase from £7.49 to £8.60 per hour;
  • for young workers, aged 16-17, the NMW will increase from £5.28 to £6.40 per hour; and
  • the apprentice rate (for apprentices under 19, or over 19 and in the first year of the apprenticeship) will increase from £5.28 to £6.40 per hour.


3.  Extending protection from redundancy for parents

From 6 April 2024, employees who are pregnant or who are returning from maternity, paternity, adoption or shared parental leave will have priority status for redeployment opportunities in instances of redundancies.

This means that, where there is a redundancy situation, the employee must be given priority for alternative roles within the business, subject to suitability.

The existing period for protection from redundancy for employees on maternity, paternity, adoption or shared parental leave will be extended to six months after an employee returns to work.

This means that a parent may only needs to take a minimum of 6 weeks’ consecutive shared parental leave to become eligible for 18 months of protection, and employees could be protected for up to 18 months where they take the full maternity leave entitlement (assuming they tell their employer about their pregnancy at 12 weeks, take a year of maternity leave, and are then protected for a further six months afterwards).


4.  Flexible Working Requests

From 6 April 2024, employees will be permitted to make two flexible working requests in each year, rather than one.

Employees will also have the right to make a flexible working request from the first day they are employed, instead of having to work in a business for 26 weeks before being able to make flexible working request.

Furthermore, the employer will be required to respond to a flexible working request within two months now, instead of three months. They will also have to consult with the employee on alternatives before refusing.


5.  Leave for carers

From 6 April 2024, employees will be permitted to take up to one week of unpaid leave to care for a dependant.

An employee who is caring for a dependent will be able to take this leave as a one-week block, or as a series separate days over the holiday year.

Employers will not be able to insist on employees providing evidence of their entitlement (i.e. that they are caring for a dependant) and the business cannot say refuse the request. They can, however, postpone the employee’s leave, but only where strictly necessary.


6.  Changes to TUPE

From 1 July 2024, the Employment Rights (Amendment, Revocation and Transitional Provision) Regulations 2023 will bring in new rules that permit employers to consult with staff affected by TUPE directly, rather than electing representatives, where a business has 50 or fewer employees (rather than 10, as is the threshold currently) or transfers involving 10 or less employees.


What next?

It is expected that, sometime in October 2024, that legislation will be introduced to create on obligation on employers to take reasonable steps to prevent sexual harassment of employees – The Worker Protection (Amendment of Equality Act) 2010.

There have also been discussed about changes to confidentiality provisions in contracts of employment and employment settlement agreements, with the potential for a new law prohibiting confidentiality clauses in contracts or settlement agreements which prevent disclosures to the police, regulated health and care or legal professionals. There has been no firm date set for this, though, and there is no guarantee that this will be brought into force.

For further updates, and for bespoke employment advice, speak to our specialist Employment Law team today on 01244 310022 or email Sharon Auld (Head of Employment) at


Did you know?

At Jolliffes, we offer fixed fee employment law retainers.  Click here to download a copy of  our brochure.