Personnel changes from April 2024

Posted on January 4th, 2024

From 6 April 2024, there are some changes to the rules about flexible working, leave for employees with a dependent with a long-term care need and protection from redundancy for those on maternity, adoption or shared parental leave.

School should consider the need to update any policies which are relevant to the changes.

Flexible working

From 6 April 2024, employees will have the right to request flexible working from day one of their employment. Currently, employees must have worked for their employer for 26 weeks or more. The Flexible Working (Amendment) Regulations 2023 have been laid before Parliament and remove the requirement to have 26 weeks service.

Carer’s leave

The draft Carer’s Leave Regulations have been laid before Parliament which will introduce a new statutory right to unpaid carer’s leave. The right applies from day one of employment and allows employees with a dependant with a long-term care need, to apply for up to one week of unpaid carer’s leave in any 12-month period. The definition of dependant is the same used for the right to take time off for dependants. Long-term care need is defined as an illness or injury that requires, or is likely to require, care for more than three months, a disability under the Equality Act 2010, or issues related to old age. The regulations are due to come into force on 6 April 2024.

Protection from redundancy

Regulation 10 of The Maternity and Parental Leave etc Regulations 1999 provide special protection for those employees on maternity, adoption or shared parental leave, allowing them to be offered first refusal of any suitable alternative vacancies in a redundancy process. The draft Maternity Leave, Adoption Leave and Shared Parental Leave (Amendment) Regulations 2024 were laid before Parliament on 11 December and extend the period of special protection.

  • The protected period for those on maternity leave will cover pregnancy and 18 months from the first day of the estimated week of childbirth.
  • The protected period for those on adoption leave will cover 18 months from placement for adoption.
  • The protected period for those on shared parental leave will cover 18 months from birth, provided that the parent has taken a period of at least six consecutive weeks of shared parental leave.

The new extended protection will apply to employees who notify their employer of their pregnancy on or after 6 April 2024.

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