As we progress through 2024, the UK's employment law landscape is experiencing significant transformations. This enhanced briefing aims to thoroughly understand these changes, which are crucial for business readiness and compliance.
Post-Brexit Employment Law Revisions
The year 2024 marks significant post-Brexit reforms in employment law. With the implementation of the Retained EU Law (Revocation and Reform) Act 2023, the UK sees the end of EU law supremacy. This transition includes substantial changes in holiday pay calculations and non-discrimination laws, alongside a reduction in EU caselaw influences. However, these changes do not substantially overhaul existing EU employment rights.
Specific Legislative Changes
Several Acts and Regulations have been introduced, reshaping the employment landscape:
- The Flexible Working Act 2023 makes flexible working a 'day one' right from April 6, 2024.
- The Protection from Redundancy (Pregnancy and Family Leave) Act 2023 extends redundancy protections to pregnant employees and those returning from family leave.
- The Carer's Leave Act 2023 establishes a week's unpaid care leave for dependants.
- The Workers (Predictable Terms and Conditions) Act 2023 introduces rights for predictable working patterns, expected around September 2024.
- The Worker Protection (Amendment of Equality Act 2010) Act 2023 enforces a duty on employers to prevent sexual harassment, effective October 2024.
Changes in Statutory Pay Rates and Minimum Wage
The National Living Wage will significantly rise to £11.44 per hour in April, including workers aged 21 and 22. Other statutory pay rates, including maternity, paternity, adoption, and sick pay, will also increase.
Consultation Responses and New Regulation Timelines
The government's consultation on 'fire and rehire' practices and upcoming regulations, particularly in pension rules, are key areas to watch. The timeline for implementing these changes remains crucial for businesses to track.
Impact of the Retained EU Law (Revocation and Reform) Act
The introduction of the Retained EU Law (Revocation and Reform) Act 2023 marks a pivotal shift, particularly affecting employment tribunals and the interpretation of UK laws previously influenced by EU legal principles.
Notable Employment Cases in 2024
Key legal cases such as Manjang v Uber Eats on facial recognition and race discrimination, Mercer on employer responses to strikes, and Bathgate v Technip on the scope of settlement agreements will significantly shape employment law precedents.
Potential Labour Government Influence
The possibility of a Labour victory in the upcoming general election could introduce major changes, including abolishing the two-year qualifying period for unfair dismissal claims, banning zero-hours contracts, and enhancing trade union rights.
The employment law landscape in 2024 is complex and dynamic, with significant changes that require careful navigation by businesses. From legislative amendments post-Brexit to potential shifts under a new government, staying informed and adaptable is key.
We encourage you to share your experiences and insights on these changes in the comments section below.