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UK Employment Law Changes 2024

Navigating Flexible Working, Paternity Leave, and Enhanced Protection

Gossippro 2024 employment changes

Transforming the workplace landscape, the recent UK employment law changes, took effect on April 6, 2024, with the promise of a brighter, more inclusive future for workers across the board. As we stand on the cusp of this transformation, let's delve into the specifics of these changes, exploring how they redefine the balance between work and life, empower caregivers, and fortify the safety net for new and expecting parents.

1. Flexible Working

  • Before: Previously, employees needed to clock in six months before they could request flexible working arrangements—limited to once a year, with a requisite justification for its impact on the business.

  • Change in April 6, 2024: From day one of employment, workers can request flexible working twice a year, with no need to justify its business impact. Employers have 2 months to respond.

  • Employee Benefit: This change heralds a significant leap towards facilitating work-life balance from the get-go.

2. Supporting Fathers and Partners: Paternity Leave Evolves

  • Before: Previously, fathers or partners were allowed to take 1-2 weeks off consecutively in the first 8 weeks after birth/adoption.

  • Change in April 6, 2024: The revised policy, offers a much-needed dose of flexibility, allowing leave to be split into two blocks within the child’s first year, alongside more lenient notification requirements.

  • Employee Benefit:  This adjustment offers fathers and partners invaluable time to bond with their newborns, marking crucial moments that matter most.

3. A Nod to Carers: Introducing Unpaid Carer’s Leave

  • Before:  No specific statutory right for unpaid leave to care for dependents with long-term needs.

  • Change in April 6, 2024:  In a significant move, the update introduces a statutory right, 1 week of unpaid leave available from day one for caring responsibilities.

  • Employee Benefit:  This provision acknowledges the dual role many employees play as workers and carers, offering them support without the fear of jeopardising their employment.

4. Enhanced Redundancy Protection for Pregnant Women and New Parents

  • Before:  Previously, redundancy protection was confined to the period of maternity leave.

  • Change in April 6, 2024:  This protection extends from the moment pregnancy is announced and lasts up to 18 months after birth or adoption

  • Employee Benefit:  Provides a longer period of job security during a critical time for new and expecting parents.

5. Streamlining Business Transfers: TUPE Consultation Adjustments

  • Before:  For small business owners, the pre-2024 requirements allowed direct consultation with employees during a business transfer if the company had fewer than 10 employees.

  • Change in April 6, 2024:  Post-change, this is expanded to include businesses with fewer than 50 employees and transfers involving fewer than 10 employees.

  • Employee Benefit:  Streamlines the transfer process, making it quicker and less burdensome for small businesses.

It's clear these changes aren't just legislative adjustments; they are a bold step towards a future that values flexibility, inclusivity, and the well-being of workers. By redefining the parameters of work-life balance, caregiving, and job security, these laws are set to transform the UK's workplace for the better, directly responding to the evolving needs of today's workforce. This pivotal moment marks a significant stride in ensuring that the workplace is adaptable, supportive, and inclusive for all.

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