Changes to employment law effective as of 1 January 2024

Changes to employment law effective as of 1 January 2024

2024 is set to be a busy year for employment law, with several changes having already taken effect on 1 January.

These updates included:

Holiday pay and working time

  • Simplified holiday pay calculations: ‘Rolled up’ holiday pay is now lawful for part‐year workers or those with irregular hours by providing a standard calculation of 12.07% of pay.
  • Carry over of holiday: Workers are permitted to carry over statutory holiday to the following year where they have been unable to take holiday due to family related leave. Also, where a worker has been unable to take leave due to sickness, they will be allowed to carry over up to 4 weeks’ holiday for a maximum of 18 months.
  • Amended definition of ‘normal remuneration’: This now includes commission and regular overtime going forwards.
  • Working time records: The requirement for employers to keep records of all working and rest time has been removed.

Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2006 (‘TUPE’)

  • Increased flexibility with consultation: Small businesses (with fewer than 50 employees) undertaking a TUPE transfer, and any sized business where fewer than 10 employees will transfer, now have the flexibility to consult directly with employees. However, this is subject to no existing representatives being appointed – where trade unions or other employee representatives are in place, employers will still be required to consult them.

Updates to the Equality Act 2010

  • Indirect discrimination by association: This legislation has been extended to allow claims of indirect discrimination by association. Individuals who do not directly have a protected characteristic are now able to claim discrimination where they have suffered similar disadvantages from an employer’s policies, practices, or criteria.
  • Amended definition of disability: This now accounts for the person’s ability to participate fully in working life on an equal footing with other workers, when considering ‘day to day activities.’
  • Extension to direct discrimination protection: to over a discriminatory statement concerning not wanting to employ a person with a certain protected characteristic, even where there is no recruitment process ongoing.
  • Discrimination on the grounds of breastfeeding: Confirmation is now expressly provided that this is covered by the protected characteristic of sex.
  • Equal pay comparator: Introduction of a ‘single source test’ for establishing a equal pay comparator. This means that a comparator can work for a different business as long as the body responsible for setting the terms is the same.

These amendments will largely be welcomed as they serve to provide greater flexibility and clarify for employers. For more details on the above and other employment law developments to watch out for during 2024, please check out our recent webinar.

About our expert

Simon Gilmour

Simon Gilmour

Partner and Head of Employment
Simon is a Partner and Head of Employment at Harper James. He joined the firm in April 2018 as a partner in the employment team. Having qualified as a solicitor in 1994, he has worked at top 50 law firms in the West Midlands for 25 years, 18 of which were as a partner and Head of Department.

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