As we come to the end of 2023, there are a number of employment law changes that have been announced over recent weeks that employers will need to consider and take action on to meet its obligations in 2024. Below are the action points that employers need to know:
Increase to national living wage
In the Autumn statement, it was confirmed that the National Living Wage (NLW) will see another large increase for all workers aged 21 years old and over. This will take the hourly rate from £10.42 per hour to £11.44 per hour from 1 April 2023.
There will also be increases to the National Minimum Wage (NMW) for younger workers who are aged 20 and under as well as increases to the Apprentice rate.
Employers should review their pay rates against these new rates and increase wages where necessary from 1 April 2024.
National insurance cuts
Also announced in the Autumn statement that there will be a cut to national insurance contributions for employees from 6 January 2024 from 12% to 10% on earnings between £12,571 and £50,271.
Changes to holiday pay and EU retained law
Earlier this year, the Government launched a series of consultations into calculating holiday pay for irregular workers. Following the consultation period, the Government has now announced draft legislation aimed at simplifying holiday pay for irregular workers after a confusing period for employers as a result of the Harpur Trust v Brazel case judgement handed down last year.
Under the new legislation, holiday pay entitlement for irregular hours workers should be calculated as 12.07% of hours worked in a pay period. This overturns the impact of the Harpur Trust v Brazel decision.
Rolled up holiday pay which became unlawful in 2006 will also become lawful again for irregular hours workers (such as zero hour workers). Rolled up holiday pay allows employers to pay a workers holiday pay entitlement as an additional amount on top of their normal hourly rate.
The above changes are due to come into effect from January 2024.
The Government also announced that the emergency rules allowing workers to carry over four weeks of holiday into the next two leave years will be removed from 1 January 2024.
In addition to the changes to holiday pay, the Government also announced that for smaller businesses involved in a TUPE transfer, they will be able to consult directly with employees rather having to elect representatives where there are no existing worker representatives in place.
Other changes expected in 2024
Now that the Employment Relations (Flexible Working) bill has received Royal Assent, moving forwards employees will be able to request flexible working including part time hours or home working from their first day of employment. There will also be new requirements for employers to consult with an employee prior to rejecting a flexible working request and the ability for employees to make two statutory flexible working requests in any 12-month period.
There are a number of other employment law changes that are on the horizon this year and beyond. This includes, statutory neonatal leave and pay to be introduced, statutory carers leave and expected changes to paternity leave.
If you would like to discuss any of the above changes further with a member of our HR team, please contact us at email@example.com.