United Kingdom: Summary of employment law changes in April 2024

In brief

A number of employment law changes will, or are expected to, come into force in April in the UK that employers should make note of. We have summarised them here for reference.



*(Please note that these dates are not confirmed and are expected dates.)

Employment right  Changes Effective date
Rights to time off work and flexible working 
Statutory paternity leave and pay
  • Employees will be able to choose to take statutory paternity leave in either one block of two weeks or two separate blocks of one week's leave. The current overall entitlement of two weeks' leave is unchanged.
  • Employees may take the leave at any time in the first year of birth/placement for adoption. The current regime requires the individual to take the leave within the first eight weeks after birth/placement for adoption.
  • Individuals will need to give their notice of entitlement 15 weeks before birth and give 28 days' notice before the dates that they intend to take each period of leave. Currently, individuals are required to notify their employer of their leave dates 15 weeks before the expected week of childbirth.
For more information, please click here.
Came into force on 8 March 2024 and applies to babies whose expected week of birth begins after 6 April 2024 and children whose placement for adoption is on or after 6 April 2024.
Carer's leave
  • Day 1 right for all employees to take up to one week's unpaid leave in a rolling 12-month period to provide or arrange care for a dependent with a long-term care need. 
  • "Dependent" includes not only immediate family or household members but anyone who reasonably relies on the employee for care with a long-term care need.
  • Carer's leave can be taken in half, one or multi-day blocks, up to a week's leave in total.
  • Employees wishing to take carer's leave must give notice to their employer of the greater of, at least twice the period of time that they wish to take, or three days. 
  • An employer may not reject a request for a carer's leave but can postpone it if they reasonably consider that business operations would be unduly disrupted. In those circumstances, the employer must serve a counter-notice within seven days of the request explaining the reason and the revised dates, which must be within a month of the original request.
For more information, please click here.
6 April 2024
Extension of redundancy protection for employees who are pregnant or returning from family leave
  • At present, employees on maternity, adoption, and shared parental leave who are at risk of redundancy must be offered suitable alternative employment ahead of the other at-risk employees if such positions are available.
  • This protection is being extended to pregnant employees and those who have recently returned from a period of family leave within 18 months of their child's birth/placement for adoption.
  • It is not a ban on placing these employees at risk or making them redundant. However, particular care should be taken to ensure that those on family leave or who have recently returned are scored fairly; otherwise, you could be at risk of unfair dismissal and possible discrimination claims.
For more information, please click here.
6 April 2024
Right to request flexible working arrangement
  • Day one right to make a request for flexible working.
  • Employees will be able to make up to two requests in a 12-month period (currently employees can only make one request).
  • Employer must respond within two months of the request (currently three months).
  • Employer will be required to consult with the employee before rejecting a request, and employee will no longer have to explain what, if any, effect the change would have on the employer and how that might be handled.
  • New draft Acas code of practice published but not yet in force, expected to come into force 6 April.
6 April 2024*
Statutory holiday entitlement 
  • The government has introduced new rules for irregular-hours workers and part-year workers.
  • The new rules change how such workers accrue holiday entitlement and make it lawful to pay them rolled-up holiday pay at the rate of 12.07%.
For more information, please click here.
Leave years starting on or after 1 April 2024. This means, for example, if an employer's leave year is a calendar year, the rules won't apply until 1 January 2025.
Increases to statutory payments and compensation
Statutory sick pay
  • Statutory sick pay will increase from GBP 109.40 to GBP 116.75 per week. 
 6 April 2024*
Statutory maternity, paternity, adoption, shared parental and parental bereavement pay
  • Statutory maternity pay, paternity pay, adoption pay, shared parental pay, and parental bereavement pay will increase from GBP 172.48 to GBP 184.03 per week.
 7 April 2024*
Maternity allowance
  •  Maternity allowance will increase from GBP 172.48 to GBP 184.03 per week.
 8 April 2024*
National living wage
  • The national living wage for workers aged 21 or over (previously, it applied only to those aged 23 or above) will increase from GBP 10.42 to GBP 11.44 per hour.
1 April 2024
National minimum wage
  • The national minimum wage will increase:
    • For 18 to 20-year-olds from GBP 7.49 to GBP 8.60 per hour.
    • For 16 to 17-year-olds and for apprentices under 19 and in their first year of apprenticeship, from GBP 5.28 to GBP 6.40 per hour.
  • The daily accommodation offset will increase from GBP 9.10 to GBP 9.99.
 1 April 2024
Tribunal compensation awards
  • The limit on a week's pay, including for the purpose of calculating statutory redundancy payments or calculating basic or additional awards of compensation for unfair dismissal will increase from GBP 643 to GBP 700.
  • The maximum compensatory award for unfair dismissal will increase from GBP 105.707 to GBP 115.15.
6 April 2024


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