New law – 6 April 2024: flexible working, carer’s leave and enhanced redundancy protection for family leave

We now know the likely dates of a number of items of legislation. Some of the legislation is still in draft form and the exact rules and implementation date are not 100% certain, but the release of the intended implementation dates at least provides employers with a date to work to when drafting or amending policies to cover the developments.

Carer’s Leave - 6 April 2024

This right will apply from day one of employment and entitles carers to apply for up to one week of unpaid leave in any 12 month period in order to provide or arrange care for a dependant with a long-term care need. Dependents are defined as:

  • The spouse, civil partner, child or parent of an employee;
  • Someone who lives in the same household as the employee (other than as boarder, employee, lodger or tenant)
  • Someone who reasonably relies on the employee to provide or arrange care.

A long-term care need is defined as:

  • An illness or injury that requires, or is likely to require care for more than 3 months
  • A disability (as defined in the Equality Act 2010)
  • Care for a reason connected with old age.

Extended redundancy protection for pregnancy and family leave – 6 April 2024

Currently those on maternity leave, adoption leave and shared parental leave benefit from enhanced protection against redundancy in that if they are at risk of redundancy, they should be offered a suitable available vacancy in preference to any other individual. Draft Regulations have now been published which are intended to be introduced on 6 April 2024 extending this protection beyond just the period of family leave to the period from the beginning of pregnancy up to 18 months from the expected date of birth/adoption placement date. 

Right to Flexible working from day one – 6 April 2024

The right to make a request for flexible working will apply to all employees (removing the 26 week qualifying period) from 6 April 2024.  It is expected that other reforms to flexible working requests (namely the ability to make up to two requests in a year, and the requirement for employers to respond within two months) will also come into force at the same time.  ACAS have indicated that they will be publishing an updated Code of Practice in 2024 to take into account these developments.

If you have any queries you would like to discuss regarding the new legislation, please contact Rena Magdani or Matt McBride.

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The content of this page is a summary of the law in force at the date of publication and is not exhaustive, nor does it contain definitive advice. Specialist legal advice should be sought in relation to any queries that may arise.

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