Employment Law: Do you know the changes?

We detail the employment law updates affecting flexible working arrangements, carer's leave and redundancy protection for pregnant employees.

Employee in office pictured from behind signifying employment law updates.

The 6th of April 2024 marked a significant date for employment law changes in the United Kingdom, bringing about important updates that focus on enhancing employee rights and protections. These changes touch on various aspects of the workplace, including flexible working arrangements, carer’s leave, and redundancy protection for pregnant employees. Employers and employees alike should familiarise themselves with these updates to ensure compliance and foster a supportive work environment. Here are the key points:

Flexible Working Arrangements

A key change which came into effect on April 6th is the expansion of the right to request flexible working arrangements. Previously, employees were required to have worked for a company for at least 26 weeks before being eligible to make such requests. With this update, all employees will be able to make a flexible working request from their first day of employment. Employers are required to respond to these requests within two months, paving the way for a more adaptable and employee-friendly work environment. This amendment recognizes the evolving needs of the modern workforce and promotes a healthier work-life balance.

Introduction of Carer’s Leave

Another important change involves the introduction of Carer’s Leave, which provides employees with up to one week of unpaid leave per year to care for a dependent with a long-term care need. This new entitlement acknowledges the challenges faced by working carers, who often struggle to balance their professional obligations with the responsibilities of caring for a loved one. By providing a specific allocation of leave for this purpose, the UK government aims to support working carers and foster a more compassionate and understanding work environment.

Increased Redundancy Protection for Pregnant Employees and New Parents

April 6th also marked the implementation of increased redundancy protection for pregnant employees and new parents returning from maternity, adoption, or shared parental leave. This extended protection applies from the moment an employee informs their employer of their pregnancy, lasting until 18 months after the birth or adoption of their child. By providing this enhanced safeguard, the government seeks to support new parents and ensure that they are not unfairly disadvantaged in the workforce due to their family commitments.

These changes represent a significant step towards promoting fairness, flexibility, and well-being in the workplace. As employment law continues to evolve in response to societal needs and changing attitudes, it is essential for both employers and employees to stay informed about their rights and responsibilities. Seeking up-to-date guidance from our expert team of employment law specialists can help businesses navigate these updates effectively and maintain a supportive work environment for their employees. By embracing these changes, employers can contribute to a more equitable and compassionate workplace culture.

This article was written by Omar Qassim

Please note the contents contained in this article are for general guidance only and reflection the position at time of posting. Legal advice should be sought before taking action in relation to specific matters.

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