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  • In 2023, several employment law bills were given Royal Assent, with many expected to come into force this year. Here’s what employers should be preparing for…


    Maternity, Adoption Leave, and Shared Parental Leave (Amendment) Regulations 2024

    New regulations have been introduced to extend the period those on maternity leave, shared parental leave, or adoption leave are protected from redundancy. 

    The regulations will come into effect on the 6th April 2024. Whilst the protection of pregnant employees before leave only applies to those employees that inform their employer of the pregnancy on or after 6th April 2024, it is important to note that the changes will apply to employees who are on leave on the date the regulations come into force.  

    Flexible Working (Amendment) Regulations 2023

    These regulations will mean that employees no longer need to be employed for 26 weeks before they are entitled to request a flexible working arrangement. Instead, the right to request flexible working will become a day one right for employees. 

    This change will become effective on all requests made on or after the 6th April 2024. 

    Further amendments to the right to request flexible working are still awaiting an enforcement date. From the enforcement date, employees will enjoy the following new protections:

    • Employers will have to consult with the employee before they reject a flexible working request.
    • Employees will be allowed to make two flexible working requests per 12 months.
    • Employers will need to respond to flexible working requests within a two-month period (this was previously three months).
    • Employees will no longer be required to lay out how the flexible working request may impact their employer.

    The Carer’s Leave Act 2023

    From the 6th April 2024, employees that have a dependant with long-term care requirements who rely on them, will have a statutory right to take a week of unpaid leave per year to care for a dependant.

    The Neonatal Care (Leave and Pay) Act 2023

    This Act will grant the right for employees with a new-born child who has been admitted to neonatal care to request up to 12 weeks of paid leave, in addition to existing parental leave entitlements.

    The Act received Royal Assent on the 24th May 2023. The Act isn’t expected to come into force until April 2025, enabling employers to prepare for the change. 

    The Worker Protection (Amendment of Equality Act 2010) Act 2023

    The Act amends the Equality Act 2010 to impose a new duty on employers to undertake reasonable steps in inhibiting sexual harassment in the workplace. The Bill received Royal Assent on the 26th October 2023 and will come into force in October 2024.

    The Workers (Predictable Terms and Conditions) Act 2023

    This Act will give workers on atypical contracts, such as temporary, casual, and agency workers the right to request a more predictable pattern of work. Included in this is the ability to ask for set days, hours, and start and finish times for their shifts. 

    ACAS will be publishing a new Code of Practice to ensure that requests are handled in a reasonable manner. 

    The Act received Royal Assent on the 18th September 2023 and is due to come into force in Autumn 2024. 


    For further information or advice on any area of employment law, contact our team today. 

    Contact our team today

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