New developments in HR you need to know about

Several changes have been made to Employment legislation from April that employers in the UK should know about. These are the main developments that may affect you.

New developments in HR you need to know about

Alterations to Carers Leave 

Becoming law on 6th April is a new ‘Day One’ right, allowing employees to request up to one week off without pay each year to care for a dependent. Employees need to ask for this time off in writing and employers can delay the leave if it severely affects the business. Employers have to tell the employee r, in writing, before the leave is supposed to start if they cannot take their chosen dates and allow them to take it within a month.

Flexible working

Another change coming in April is to the flexible working laws. The aftermath of the pandemic has completely altered the office environment and the rules for flexible working are changing to favour employees.

Starting from the 6th of April, an employee can request flexible work arrangements from their first day of employment, instead of waiting for 26 weeks. The new law allows employees to request a change in flexibility twice a year, instead of just once. Employers now have a shorter response time of two months, instead of three. It is worth noting that employees are no longer required to explain the impact the change would have on the business.

Redundancy protection

Enhanced redundancy protection is being extended to give a longer period of protection to those on or returning from maternity, adoption or shared parental leave. For pregnant women, this protection applies if they disclose to their employer that they are pregnant on or after April 6th  2024. This protection lasts until 18 months after the baby is born or placed for adoption. The protection means that in a redundancy situation, they have to be offered any suitable alternative employment that you may have in the business. 

Looking ahead

Further into 2024, there will be some changes for hospitality regarding tips. The Employment (Allocation of Tips) Act coming into force on 1 July will protect workers’ rights to receive tips; particularly by ensuring that 100% of tips are passed on to staff.

Employers in hospitality will need to get this right, especially as many tips are now collected through a service charge on a card machine. There are, of course, potential tax and NI issues too. 

An interesting development coming in October 2024 is the new Worker Protection Act. This will create a duty on employers to take proactive measures to prevent sexual harassment of their staff in the workplace. 

In summary, the landscape of Human Resources is constantly evolving, with several significant developments set to impact employers in the UK. By staying abreast of these developments and taking proactive measures, employers can foster a positive work environment that prioritises employee well-being and satisfaction, ultimately contributing to organisational success in the long term.

Sue Tumelty
Sue Tumelty