Changes to Employment Law that will have an impact in 2024

There are many more changes than usual this year that will have a ‘real life’ impact for employers.

With the prospect of a Labour Government in sight, things may not settle again for some time.

We have tried to make your life a bit easier by pulling together the main changes into a chronological list, with recommended actions and links to further details.

As ever, we are here to help, so please contact the team for further guidance. 


1 January 2024 – Simplified holiday pay and carry-over

Changes and clarification on the carry over of statutory leave and the calculation of holiday pay.

Actions to take: Review the details and how it applies to you – particularly if you have workers on zero or flexible hours or part-year contracts. For all employees, be explicit about using their holiday and remind them about using it – especially if you have a ‘use it or lose it’ policy.


6 February 2024 – The Immigration Health Charge Increases by 66%

The full rate increased to £1035 per year (from £624) and the discounted rate to £776 per year (from £470).

Actions to take: Review cost impact of your migrant workers and also see changes on 4 April to Skilled Worker minimum salaries

13 February 2024 – Fines increase for employing illegal workers

Fines increase for employing illegal workers from £15,000 to £45,000 per illegal worker for a first breach and from £20,000 to £60,000 for repeated breaches.

Actions to take: Check you are carrying out Right to Work checks correctly. More here.


31 March 2024 – Delayed holidays from COVID

All leave carried over because of Covid under extended time period allowance must be taken by this date.

Actions to take: Check for old leave balances and ensure they are taken.


1 April 2024 – National Living Wage from Age 21

The National Living Wage age band will be expanded to include workers aged 21 and over (it was age 23 and over). 

Actions to take: Check any workers aged 21 and over are receiving at least £11.44 from 1 April 2024 (full rate details are here).

1 April 2024 – Holiday calculation rules change for irregular hours workers.

For holiday years beginning on or after this date, holiday entitlement for part year and irregular hours workers can be calculated by taking 12.07% of the hours worked in the pay period.

Rolled up holiday will also be permissible from this date for part year and irregular hours workers only.

Actions to take: Check how you calculate holidays for Zero hours, part-year and other irregular hours workers – this change makes it easier than under the previous rules.

1 April 2024 – New Statutory Rates for Leave

Statutory shared parental, maternity, adoption, paternity and parental bereavement pay is £184.03pw. Statutory sick pay £116.75pw

Actions to take: Update your records.


4 April 2024 – Big increase to minimum salary requirement for Skilled Worker visa holders, and other changes

Sponsors will need to pay the overseas workers they wish to sponsor on a Skilled Worker visa a minimum of £38,700 per year. This is a huge increase from the current minimum salary of £26,000 per year.

An end to the 20% reduction to the Skilled Worker minimum salary threshold for jobs on the shortage occupations list.

In line with the approach already taken for students, overseas care workers will no longer be able to bring dependants with them under the Health and Care Worker visa route (from 11 March).

Actions to take: Consider alternative recruitment strategies for new hires where the going rate is much less than the new minimum salary.

More info here from DMH Stallard

6 April 2024 – Changes to Flexible Working Requests

Confirmed: The right to request becomes a ‘day 1’ right (you previously needed at least 26 weeks service).

Subject to parliamentary approval:

• You must consult with the employee on alternatives before refusing their request.
• Two requests in any twelve-month period will be permitted (it was previously 1).
• The time to deal with a request, including appeal, will become two months (it was 3).
• Employees will no longer be required to set out the effect their requested arrangement will have on the business, nor suggest ways their employer can manage it.

Actions to take: Amend your Flexible Working policy and your approach to requests.

6 April 2024 – New Carer’s Leave Entitlement

Subject to parliamentary approval, there will be a new statutory right to unpaid carer’s leave for employees in England, Wales and Scotland – 1 week unpaid. 

Actions to take: Amend your Family Leave policies and absence-type codes for absence reporting etc

6 April 2024 – Changes to Statutory Paternity Leave (SPL)

Subject to parliamentary approval, new rules allow: SPL can be taken in the first 52 weeks after birth or adoption (it was first 8 weeks)Two separate weeks can be taken (it was one or two consecutive weeks only). Applies where EWC or placement for adoption is on or after 6 April 2024.

Actions to take: Amend your Paternity Leave policy as necessary.

6 April 2024 – Pregnancy Redundancy Protection Extended

Subject to parliamentary approval, redundancy protection will extend to new groups and apply during pregnancy and /or the period of 18 months after the birth or placement of a child for those taking maternity, adoption or shared parental leave (effectively extended beyond the period of maternity leave). 

Actions to take: If you are considering redundancies involving employees who are due to go on maternity / adoption or shared parental leave or have returned in the last 6 months, check the regulations carefully.


1 July 2024 – New rules on distribution of tips

There are a range of new measures, including a duty to ensure that all qualifying tips are allocated fairly between workers and for relevant employers to have a written policy on how they deal with tips. A draft statutory code of practice is linked below and a final code is awaited.

Actions to take: Review the draft code, assess current tipping arrangements and identify what changes may be required. Ensure you are able to pay tips to staff in the month following receipt of the tip.

1 July 2024 – TUPE change for smaller companies

New rules permit employers with 50 or fewer employees to consult directly with staff affected by a transfer (unless there is a recognised trade union in place), rather than having to elect representatives.  This continues to apply also for transfers involving 10 or less employees.  It is a very helpful change for smaller companies.

Actions to take: Consider this when planning a TUPE consultation (only).

What else is expected:

September 2024 (expected)New Right to Request Predicable Hours   Eligible workers (e.g. zero hours) and agency workers will gain the right to request more predictable terms and conditions of work.  More info hereAssess the potential impact if you use zero or variable hours workers.
October 2024 (expected)New Duty to Prevent Sexual Harassment This is a new proactive duty for employers to take ‘reasonable steps’ to prevent sexual harassment of their employees.  Tribunals will also have the power to uplift sexual harassment compensation by up to 25% where an employer is found to have breached this new duty.  More details hereReview the guidance and your currently policies/practices and decide what you need to do in response.

For more help and advice, please contact the HR Services Team: