In an effort to address important issues concerning employee rights and support, the United Kingdom has announced the confirmation of four new laws set to take effect in 2024. While these laws have been in development since 2018, they have now officially become Acts, signaling a significant step towards their implementation. However, it’s important to note that they are not yet in force. Let’s delve into the details of each law and explore when they are likely to be implemented.
Carer’s Leave Act 2023:
Under this act, employees with caring responsibilities will be granted a legal right to take up to 5 days off each year. These days can be used to fulfill responsibilities for individuals who are elderly, have a disability, or are suffering from an illness or injury lasting more than 3 months. It’s important to note that these days will be unpaid and can be taken as full days or half days. The likely implementation of this act is set for April 2024.
Neonatal Care (Leave and Pay) Act 2023:
The Neonatal Care Act extends support to parents whose babies require hospitalization shortly after birth. If a baby is less than 28 days old and spends at least 7 consecutive days in the hospital, parents will be entitled to additional time added to their maternity and paternity leave. For each week their baby remains in the hospital, parents will receive an extra week of leave, up to a maximum of 12 weeks. This act is expected to come into effect in October 2024.
Protection from Redundancy (Pregnancy and Family Leave) Act 2023:
The Protection from Redundancy Act ensures that pregnant employees and those returning from maternity, adoption, and shared parental leave are protected during redundancy exercises. Employers will be obligated to offer these employees a suitable alternative vacancy until 18 months after the birth or adoption. The existing right to be offered a vacancy while on maternity leave will be extended, and failure to prioritize these employees during redundancy exercises will be considered unfair dismissal and discrimination. This act is likely to be implemented in April 2024 or earlier.
Employment (Allocation of Tips) Act 2023:
To address concerns regarding the allocation of tips, the Employment Act mandates that employers must pass on any tips, gratuities, or service charges to workers. Additionally, employers will be required to establish a policy outlining how tips are allocated, following a statutory code of practice to be created. Employers must maintain records detailing how tips are distributed, and workers will have the right to access these records. In cases where tips are unfairly allocated, employees will have the ability to make a claim to a tribunal, with potential compensation of up to £5000 for mishandling tips. The likely implementation of this act is set for April 2024.
These four new laws mark significant progress in addressing employee rights and support in the United Kingdom. As we look towards 2024, it is essential for both employers and employees to familiarize themselves with these upcoming changes and ensure compliance with the revised regulations. By embracing these laws, the UK aims to enhance workplace protections and create a fairer environment for all.