- Written by
- Lydia Button, Trainee Solicitor
2024 is set to bring a big wave of changes to UK employment law. We have provided a bitesize summary of the updates below.
January has already seen several important amendments to the Equality Act 2010, including:
- Amended definition of disability which 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’.
- New protection of breastfeeding mothers from direct sex discrimination in the workplace.
- Extension to direct sex discrimination protection relating to pregnancy and maternity.
- Extension of legislation to allow claims of indirect discrimination by association.
- Introduction of a ‘single source test’ for establishing an equal pay comparator i.e., a comparator can work for a different business as long as their terms and conditions of employment come from a ‘single source’.
What’s next? Further upcoming changes you can expect to see this year include:
- National minimum wage is set to be increased significantly to £11.44 per hour.
- New protection for employees on maternity leave, shared parental leave or adoption leave regarding redundancy.
- Changes to tip allocation for workers.
- Employees entitlement to one week’s unpaid carers leave (as a right from day one).
- Changes to permit employees to make a flexible working request (up to two requests each year) from the first day of their employment, and employers will have to deal with such applications (and any appeals) within two months.
- Significant changes to the immigration system including increased skilled worker salary, increase in spouse visa salary, revision of the shortage occupation list, and the Graduate visa is set to be reviewed.
- New duty on employers to actively prevent sexual harassment in their workplace (and financial consequences in the Tribunal for failing to do so).
- Some workers will be permitted the ask their employer for a more predictable working pattern including the right to work for a certain number of hours, or on particular days of the week.
In due course there are also plans to implement an entitlement for employed parents whose newborn baby is admitted to neonatal care, to take up to 12 weeks of paid leave, in addition to any other leave they are entitled to take.
In summary, there are various shifts in the landscape of UK employment law this year. Our Employment Team is committed to support businesses in understanding and navigating these changes. If you require any support or advice in relation to any of the changes above, please do not hesitate to get in touch with any of our experts on 0208 290 0440.