Key employment law updates | March 2024

Welcome to our monthly update, where we share upcoming changes to employment law.

The below changes will come into force for irregular hours and part-year workers who have leave years beginning on or after 1 April 2024 (if you use a calendar year as the holiday year, these changes will only apply from 2025). The key points are:

  • An accrual method of calculating holiday entitlement for workers with irregular hours and part year workers.
  • Rolled up holiday pay (calculated at the classic 12.07% rate) has returned as an option for holiday pay calculation for casual, irregular-hours and part-year workers. Rolled up pay will be available for leave years starting on or after 1 April 2024.
  • A new definition of ‘normal renumeration’ – when calculating holiday have been specified, for example payments related to the performance of tasks (including commission payments) and regular overtime should be included.

More detail can be found here.

From 6 April 2024, no length of service will be required to make a flexible working request. The key points are:

  • No business impact needs to be cited by an employee.
  • Employers must consult employees about alternatives to their flexible working request and cannot refuse a request unless they consult.
  • Two flexible working requests could be made in any 12-month period (currently only one is allowed).
  • Employers will have to respond to flexible working requests within two months (currently the timeframe is three months).

The Protection from Redundancy (Pregnancy and Family Leave) Act 2023 and The Maternity Leave, Adoption Leave and Shared Parental Leave (Amendment) Regulations 2024 are extended in the event of redundancy.

The protections apply as below:

Pregnant employee who takes maternity leave:

  • Start of protection – when employee notifies you of pregnancy.
  • End of protection – where they take maternity leave, 18 months from child’s date of birth (where notified to you) or 18 months from expected week of childbirth (if date of birth not notified).


  • Start of protection – when employee notifies you of pregnancy.
  • End of protection – two weeks after end of pregnancy (where pregnancy is before 24 weeks). Miscarriage after 24 weeks means the employee is entitled to maternity leave.

Adoption Leave:

  • Start of protection – when adoption leave starts.
  • End of protection – 18 months from date of placement or (for overseas adoption) from date of entry into Great Britain.

Shared parental leave (SPL) (maternity or adoption leave protection applies where also taken):

  • Start of protection – When shared parental leave starts.
  • End of protection – Depends how much SPL they take. If less than six weeks, protection ends at the end of SPL. If more than six consecutive weeks, protection ends 18 months from child’s date of birth.

The Carer’s Leave Regulations 2024 are due to come into effect on 6 April 2024. The regulations make provision for a statutory right to one week’s unpaid leave per year for employees providing or arranging care for a dependant with a long-term care need. There is no minimum service requirement to qualify for this right.

NHS has published is new policy framework, outlining that, following miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy, molar pregnancy and termination of pregnancy, NHS Trusts should offer up to 10 days’ for the mother and five days’ leave for the partner. Trusts should also offer paid time off to attend appointments and occupational health support with options for flexible working.

In its first report, the IAWP recommends that:

  • The government should endorse a new framework which makes suggestions as to how employers might improve the effectiveness and value for money of their diversity and inclusion practices.
  • The government should begin the production of a digital tool to enable managers to assess the rigour, efficacy and value for money of a range of diversity and inclusion practices.
  • The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) should explain and clarify the legal status of diversity and inclusion practice with reference to recent caselaw.

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has published new guidance to give employers more certainty about sharing their workers’ personal details in a mental health emergency.

The guidance sets out the circumstances where an employer may share workers’ information where there is risk of serious harm to the worker or to others. Necessary and proportionate information without delay should be shared with relevant and appropriate emergency services or health professionals.

  • Employers should look to plan a response to a mental health emergency ahead of time. They should identify a lawful basis to share the information and, where it is special category data, a special category condition.
  • A record of all internal processes should be kept.
  • Employers must let workers know that they may share their information in a health emergency – including a mental health emergency.
  • It is suggested for employers to carry out a data protection impact assessment.

Following an inquiry launched in July 2023, the Treasury Committee has published its Sexism in the City report.

  • The report says many firms still treat diversity and inclusion as a ‘tick box’ exercise instead of viewing diversity as beneficial for companies, as has been evidenced.
  • The committee stresses how it is ‘shocking to hear how prevalent sexual harassment and bullying, up to and including serious sexual assault and rape, still are in financial services, and how poorly firms handle allegations of such behaviours’.

The FCA has responded and aims to tighten standards on firms so to limit misconduct such as bullying and sexual harassment.