Key Employment Law Updates from April 2024

employment law

April 2024 ushers in a series of important employment law changes that hold implications for all UK businesses. As your trusted business advisors, Beavis Morgan is dedicated to helping you understand these changes and what they mean for your company and your employees.

Flexible Working Revolutionised

A standout change is the expansion of flexible working rights. Employees now have the right to request flexible working arrangements from day one of employment—a significant leap from the previous requirement of 26 weeks. Additionally, the frequency at which employees can make these requests has doubled from one to two within a 12-month period. Employers are now obligated to respond to these requests within two months and are required to provide a comprehensive explanation and consultation if a request is declined.

Carer’s Leave Introduced

In a move to support employees with caregiving responsibilities, a new entitlement to unpaid Carer’s Leave is now accessible from the commencement of employment. This change acknowledges the crucial role carers play and provides them with the flexibility needed to fulfil their caregiving duties.

Enhanced Pregnancy and Family Leave Protections

The period of protection for employees on maternity, shared parental, or adoption leave has been bolstered. Sometimes referred to as “MAPLE” protection, it begins from the moment an employee informs their employer of their pregnancy. This protection could continue up to 18 months post-birth, encompassing the duration of relevant parental leave. Importantly, to qualify for MAPLE protection after shared parental leave, employees are required to have taken at least six continuous weeks of leave.

Paternity Leave Flexibility

Reforms to paternity leave have introduced greater adaptability. Fathers can now take their paternity leave at any point during the first year of their child’s life, with the option to split the leave into different periods instead of taking it in one or two consecutive weeks.

Navigating the New Landscape

These changes reflect a progressive shift towards greater work-life balance and support for employees during key life events. As businesses, it’s essential to update your HR policies and practices to align with the new legislation.

How Beavis Morgan Can Help

At Beavis Morgan, we understand the complexities these changes can bring. We’re here to help you:

  • Review and update your employment contracts and HR policies.
  • Train your HR team and management on the new employment law changes.
  • Offer guidance on handling flexible working requests effectively.
  • Assist with strategies to support your staff’s work-life balance while maintaining productivity.

For a more detailed breakdown of the new employment laws and practical advice on how to implement them, visit the government’s Help to Grow campaign page.

In Conclusion

Embracing these legal updates is not just about compliance; it’s about fostering a supportive workplace culture that attracts and retains talent. Beavis Morgan is here to support your business through these transitions to ensure you continue to thrive in an evolving regulatory environment.

For professional advice tailored to your business needs, please contact your usual Beavis Morgan partner or email