New tax year, new employment law …

Things are moving so swiftly in the employment field and we thought an update of changes from 5 April might be helpful.

What’s changing?

  • Carers leave: from 6 April 2024 employees have the right to take one week of unpaid carers leave each year, from the first day of employment.
  • Paternity leave: from 6 April 2024 a new approach with greater flexibility to take paternity leave at any point in the 52 weeks after birth, and in two separate blocks.
  • Flexible working: from 6 April, a right for employees to request flexible working from the first day of employment. There are also procedural changes (including the right to make two applications in a 12 month period, and for employers to consult with the employee and respond within two months). ACAS has issued a revised code of practice.
  • Protection from redundancy: from 6 April the existing protection for employees on maternity, adoption or shared parental leave, to be offered a suitable alternative vacancy before being made redundant, will be extended. It will now cover those who have notified their employer that they are pregnant, to 18 months after the birth or adoption.
  • Irregular hours and part year workers – new rules for holiday leave and pay: from 1 April new holiday entitlement and pay regime applies to irregular hours workers and part year workers. We have prepared a separate briefing note covering the detail – available by emailing us through our contacts page (or your usual contact in our team).
    The covid carry over period for holiday also ends.
  • National minimum wage: new rates and ending the exemption for domestic workers who live with their employer.

And new annual limits on various statutory payments and limits come into effect.

What should you do?

Policies: Most of these changes will need updates to existing policies – so it’s a good time for review.


  • The new holiday arrangements for irregular hours and part year workers need more careful thought. These are significant changes and holiday can now be addressed in a much more practical way, but it does need action. We suggest reviewing your existing arrangements and considering whether the new approach is right for your organisation, and what changes may need to be made to contracts, and holiday policies.
  • The extended redundancy protection for those who are pregnant and for 18 months from the start of a period of family leave (maternity/adoption/shared parental leave) mean many more people will be protected. It’s important that employers are aware of this (specifically, ensure your managers and People Teams are up to date) and policies may need updating.

Our comment

Changes to employment law are not unusual. It’s about people and our approach as a society to resolving issues is ever-changing. Change does seem to be considerable just now though! As with any new regulations, being aware and understanding the implications minimises risks going forwards. We’re always happy to talk the changes through.