Employment Law Changes PT.2

There are numerous changes to employee’s rights coming later in 2024.

The second half of the year is also set to be one of considerable change in the world of Employment Law.

Neonatal care

With effect from April 2025, employees will qualify for 12 weeks of leave if their child is receiving neonatal care. The right to neonatal care leave is a day one right, which requires no set length of service. However, in order to receive statutory neonatal care pay, employees must have at least 26 weeks’ service and earn, on average, £123 a week.

Neonatal care must have started within 28 days of birth and last for at least seven days. The leave must be taken within 68 weeks of the child’s birth.

TUPE consultation amendments for small businesses

For TUPE transfers on or after 1 July 2024, the Employment Rights (Amendment Revocation and Transitional Provision) Regulations 2006 provide that businesses can inform and consult with employees directly where they have fewer than 50 employees or where fewer than 10 employees are affected by the transfer, provided that there are no employee representatives already in place.

This change will be helpful for smaller business as they will no longer need to go through the process of their employees electing representatives and following a collective consultation process in relation to the TUPE transfer.

Protection against sexual harassment at work

From October 2024, a new law will come into force requiring employers to take ‘reasonable steps’ to prevent sexual harassment of their employees in the workplace.

This imposes a new, proactive duty on employers to prevent sexual harassment in the workplace.  The aim of this legislation is to place greater responsibility on employers to make their workplaces safer for all staff.

The Worker Protection (Amendment of Equality Act) Act 2023 will allow tribunals to uplift any compensation awards in employee sexual harassment cases. Further guidance is expected from the Equality and Human Rights Commission. Employers will need to ensure their policies and training are up to date and take a much more proactive role in ensuring their employees’ safety at work. We will be providing more detailed guidance nearer the time and will be producing robust policies and procedures for our clients, including an incident reporting app, with email and phone reporting options.

A Labour win?

If, as polls currently suggest, Labour wins the election, the Shadow Deputy Prime Minister, Angela Rayner, has pledged to implement the party’s New Deal for Working People within 100 days of taking office. This will include a ban on zero-hours contracts, ending fire-and-rehire, closing the gender pay gap and additional sexual harassment in the workplace provisions.

Limits to non-competition clauses?

In May 2023, the Government announced that it will proceed in introducing a statutory limit of three months on non-compete clauses in employment contracts and for certain worker contracts.

There has been no announcement as to when these changes will be brought into force – only “when parliamentary time allows” – but employers may wish to take note of the plans and adjusting their post-termination restrictions and potentially lengthen any notice periods accordingly.

New working patterns rights in force?

Workers on atypical and zero-hours contracts will soon have the right to request more predictable working patterns and hours, in what the Government describes as part of a bid to “tackle unfair working practices”. It will still be within an employer’s power to reject the request. 

It is yet to be confirmed when the Workers (Predictable Terms and Conditions) Act 2023 will come into force, but it is expected later this year.

Should you need someone to talk  through your business change plans with,  please do make contact.




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