April 2024 HR Checklist

Published date05 April 2024
Subject MatterEmployment and HR, Unfair/ Wrongful Dismissal, Redundancy/Layoff, Employee Rights/ Labour Relations
Law FirmHerbert Smith Freehills
AuthorMs Anna Henderson

This April sees a raft of employment law changes coming into force, requiring employers to update staff policies and ensure that managers are briefed. Below is a quick checklist, along with links to our earlier more detailed posts. Please do get in touch with your usual HSF contact if you would like further information or assistance with updating policies.

Changes to flexible work requests: all proposed changes now confirmed for 6 April

  • Regulations were made earlier in the year making the right to request flexible working a day one right from 6 April 2024.
  • A second set of regulations was required to bring amendments to primary legislation into force, including to allow two requests a year and shorten the time for employers to respond to two months. On 29th March these regulations were finally published on the government legislation website, confirming the 6 April commencement date. Acas's revised statutory code also comes into force on 6 April. See here for further details of the changes and here for details of revisions to the Code. Flexible work policies will need to be amended and managers made aware of the key changes, in particular the shorter timeframe for responding and the need to consult with the employee before rejecting a request.
  • Acas has previously said that it will publish non-statutory guidance to accompany the code - this was not yet available at the time of writing.

Changes to family leave rights

  • New right to unpaid carers' leave: day one right to up to one week's leave (unpaid) per rolling 12 months to provide or make arrangements for care of dependants with long-term care needs. See here for more details. Employers may want a stand-alone policy or to consider adding the new right to any existing policy covering time off for dependants. Where other family leave policies cross-reference rights for carers, it may also be worth updating these to flag which types of leave should be used for which purposes.
  • Minor changes to paternity leave and pay paternity leave policies will need updating to reflect that employed fathers and partners (of children whose EWC/expected date of placement for adoption is after 6 April 2024) can now take paternity leave as two separate weeks at any time in the first year from birth; the notice requirement for planned dates is also reduced to 28 days. See here for further details.

Changes to redundancy protection - priority over vacancies

The priority over suitable alternative vacancies, if provisionally...

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