Key Employment Law Changes: April

Employment Partner Karen Coleman outlines the main employment law changes coming into effect in April (excluding NMW rates).

Tribunal Compensation Limits – Increase for dismissals on or after 6 April 2024:
– the maximum compensatory award for unfair dismissal will increase from £105,707 to £115,115.
– the limit on a week’s pay for calculation of the basic award and statutory redundancy payments will rise from £643 to £700.

Increases to the Vento bands –  For claims presented on or after 6 April 2024:
– lower band of £1,200 to £11,700;
– middle band of £11,700 to £35,200;
– upper band of £35,200 to £58,700 for the most serious cases, with the most exceptional cases capable of exceeding £58,700.

New Legislation Coming into Force – From 6 April 2024:
– The Protection from Redundancy (Pregnancy and Family Leave) Act 2023
expands current protections for employees on maternity/adoption/shared parental leave in redundancy situations from the moment of pregnancy notification to 18 months after childbirth;
– Carer’s Leave Act 2023 – entitles employees (from day one of employment) who care for dependants with long-term needs to one week of unpaid leave per year.
– Employment Relations (Flexible Working) Act 2023 – extends right to request flexible working to day one of employment and employees will also be able to make two requests (rather than one) in any twelve-month period, and employers will have to make a decision on the request within two months (currently three).
– Paternity Leave Amendment Regulations 2024 – fathers and partners can choose to split their leave and pay into two non-consecutive periods of leave of a week each; take their leave and pay at any time at any time during the first 52 weeks of the birth or the placement of the child for adoption.

In addition, as a result of amendments to the Working Time Regulations in January, the following reforms will apply to leave years beginning on or after 1 April 2024;
– a new method to calculate statutory holiday entitlement for irregular hours and part-year workers;
– a new method to work out how much leave an irregular hour or part-year worker has accrued when they take maternity or family related leave or are off sick;
– allows for a return of rolled-up holiday pay as an alternative method to calculate holiday pay for irregular hours workers and part-year workers.

As these changes only apply to holiday years which commence on or after 1 April 2024, there will be a significant lead into implementation for those employers with a January to December holiday year.

For anyone interested in being added to Karen’s regular employment law bulletin recipient list, please email her at [email protected].