Employment law changes in 2024 and how they affect you.

  1. Increased Rights to Flexible Working:
    Since January 1, 2024, employees in England, Wales, and Scotland have enhanced rights to request flexible working arrangements. Organisations should review their policies and procedures to accommodate these requests effectively. It’s essential to maintain accurate records of working hours and ensure compliance with the new regulations.
  1. Statutory Leave Entitlements for Carers:
    In 2024, a new statutory leave entitlement will be introduced for carers. Employers need to understand the details of this entitlement and update their policies accordingly. Supporting employees who are carers is crucial, and agencies should be prepared to manage leave requests effectively.
  1. Shift in Employer Obligations to Prevent Sexual Harassment:
    Employers will face a significant shift in their obligations to prevent sexual harassment in the workplace. Organisations must proactively address this issue, review their policies, and create a safe and respectful work environment. Recruitment agencies should educate their clients about these changes and encourage a zero-tolerance approach to harassment.
  1. National Insurance Rate Cuts:
    As of January 6, 2024, National Insurance rates have decreased by 2% (from 12%) for those earning between £12,570 and £50,270. Self-employed workers will now pay 9%, and Class 2 National Insurance for the self-employed has been abolished.
  1. Tripled Right-to-Work Fines:
    Since January 22, 2024, fines for illegal working have tripled to £45,000 per worker for first breaches and £60,000 per worker for repeat breaches. Agencies must ensure robust right-to-work checks and consider using manual checks, Identity Document Validation Technology (IDVT), or Home Office online checks.
  1. National Minimum/Living Wage Changes:
    These changes aim to ensure fair compensation for workers across different age groups and contribute to improving living standards. Employers and recruitment agencies should update their payroll systems accordingly to comply with these new rates:

National Living Wage (21 and over):
Previous Rate: £10.42 per hour
New Rate (from April 1, 2024): £11.44 per hour

National Living Wage for those aged 21-22:
Previous Rate: £10.18 per hour
New Rate (from April 1, 2024): £11.44 per hour

National Minimum Wage for 18 to 20-year-olds:
Previous Rate: £7.49 per hour
New Rate (from April 1, 2024): £8.60 per hour

National Minimum Wage for under-18s:
Previous Rate: £5.28 per hour
New Rate (from April 1, 2024): £6.40 per hour

7. Holiday Pay:

Accrual Method for Irregular Hours and Part-Year Workers:

Starting from April 1, 2024, holiday entitlement will accrue (in hours, not weeks) at the rate of 12.07% of the actual hours worked in each pay period.

The maximum annual leave entitlement remains at 5.6 weeks per year.

Rolled-Up Holiday Pay:

Employers can choose to either:

  1. Pay holiday pay when holiday is taken.
  2. Use rolled-up holiday pay for irregular hours and part-year workers.
  3. Rolled-up holiday pay allows employers to include holiday pay in the hourly rate, simplifying calculations.

Normal Remuneration:

For the 4 weeks of statutory annual leave, employers must define what is considered ‘normal remuneration’.

Leave for Part-Year Workers:

For leave years starting on or after April 1, 2024, all leave for part-year workers (e.g., term-time workers) must be paid at their ‘normal’ rate of pay.

These changes aim to simplify holiday entitlement calculations and ensure fair treatment for workers. Employers and recruitment agencies should update their practices accordingly to comply with these new rules.

In summary, recruitment agencies need to proactively adapt to these legal changes, update their practices, and educate their clients to ensure compliance and fair treatment of employees. Being well-prepared will help agencies navigate the evolving landscape of employment law in 2024.