What does April 2024 have in store for Employers and Employees?

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We have highlighted the changes that will be made to family friendly legislation from April 2024.

From 1 April 2024, workers aged 21 and over will be entitled to the National Living Wage.

21 and over £11.44

18-20 £8.60

Under 18 £6.40

Apprentice £6.40

Apprentices are entitled to the apprentice rate if they’re either:

  • aged under 19.
  • aged 19 or over and in the first year of their apprenticeship.

Carers Leave Act 2023

From 6 April 2024, employees will be entitled to 1 week’s unpaid leave ( every 12 months) to give or arrange care for a ‘dependant’ who has:

  • a physical or mental illness or injury that means they’re expected to need care for more than 3 months.
  • a disability (as defined in the Equality Act 2010)
  • care needs because of their old age.

The dependant does not have to be a family member. It can be anyone who relies on them for care.

Employees are entitled to carer’s leave from their first day of work for their employer. Their employment rights (like holidays and returning to their job) are protected during carer’s leave

Employees need to give notice before they want their leave to start. If the request is for half a day or a day, the notice period must be at least 3 days.

If the request is for more than one day, the notice period must be at least twice as long as the requested leave. For example, if the request is for 2 days, the notice period must be at least 4 days.

The notice period needs to be in full days, even if the request includes half day amounts.

The request does not have to be in writing.

Employees do not need to give evidence of their dependant’s care needs.

When can employers delay carer’s leave

Employers cannot refuse a carer’s leave request but can ask the employee to take it at a different time. They can only do this if the employee’s absence would cause serious disruption to the organisation.

If they delay it, the employer must:

  • agree another date within one month of the requested date for the leave
  • put the reason for the delay and new date in writing to the employee within 7 days of the original request, and before the requested start date of the leave

Paternity Leave (Amendment) Regulations 2024

Employees of children that are born or placed for adoption on or after 6 April 2024 will be able to take their two weeks statutory paternity leave in two separate blocks of one week rather than a single block of two consecutive weeks. They will also be able to elect their leave at any point during the first year, rather than the first eight weeks, following birth or adoption.

In addition, the notice that an employee is required to give will be reduced to a minimum of 28 days before the period of leave begins rather than the 15 weeks before the estimated week of childbirth.