Knowledge Hub

Governance, legal and compliance People and culture

Employment law: is your charity ready for the update?

This April sees the biggest employment law update we have had in a number of years. Emma Ferry from Bluestone HR shares a summary of all the key changes.

Some major changes in employment and HR law will be coming into effect in early April. These impact leave allowance, flexible working arrangements, the National Living and Minimum Wages and several other areas that charities will need to be on top of.

1. Carer’s leave

From 6 April 2024, employees who care for a dependant with a long-term care need will be entitled to one week of flexible unpaid leave per year. All employees will have the new entitlement to carer’s leave no matter how long they have worked for their employer (a day 1 right).

You must give a minimum amount of notice to your employer of either double the amount of time you’ve requested to take off, or three days, whichever is longer. Employers cannot refuse a carer’s leave request, but they can postpone it if it would seriously disrupt operations.


2. Flexible Working requests

From 6 April 2024, the right to request flexible working will be a day-one right, rather than after 26 weeks of continuous service as before. Currently, employees can make one statutory request in 12 months, which will increase to two in April.

With the new requirements, a reduced timescale of two months to make a decision and a removal of the previous need for employees to explain the impact on the organisation.


3. Paternity leave

Paternity leave allows an employee to spend up to two weeks with a new child and support their partner. There are no changes to the amount of paternity leave available or statutory paternity pay (although there is the usual annual increase, see below).

The changes aim to increase flexibility around taking paternity leave by reducing the notice period, extending the window to take paternity leave and giving more flexibility on how to take leave.

This applies where the expected date of birth or placement for adoption is on or after 6 April 2024.


4. Extended Protection from Redundancy for (some) Family Leave

Employees on maternity leave, shared parental leave (for a defined period) and adoption leave already benefit from more rights and protection against redundancy than other employees. From 6 April 2024, this protection will be extended beyond the family leave, and will include pregnancy.


5. Changes to holiday entitlement, carry forward and pay calculations

If you work irregular hours or part of the year your employer may choose to change the way your holiday is calculated to ‘roll up’ your holiday pay. This allows your employer to include an additional amount with every payslip to cover your holiday pay, as opposed to paying holiday pay when you take holiday.

Best practice around the carry-over of holidays has now been put into legislation which means clear rules around the carrying forward of holidays where you have been on family leave, long term sickness, or have been unable to take your leave.

And finally, rules around ‘normal’ pay when calculating holiday pay have been put into legislation. This means that holiday pay must include commission, regular overtime and some other pay elements. The calculation means that when you take a holiday you will not see a reduction in your pay.


6. National Living Wage and National Minimum Wage

The National Living Wage has been extended to apply to workers 21 and above (previously the National Living Wage only applied to those aged 23 and over) along with an increase to all rates.

From 1 April 2024 the changes are:

  • A £1.02 (or 9.8%) increase to the National Living Wage for those aged 21 and over. This rises from £10.42 to £11.44 per hour.
  • A £1.11 (or 14.8%) increase to the National Minimum Wage for those aged 18-20. This rises from £7.49 to £8.60 per hour.
  • A £1.12 (or 21.2%), increase to the National Minimum Wage for those aged 16-17 and apprentices. This rises from £5.28 to £6.40 per hour.

7. Statutory rate rises

There will be the usual statutory rate rises.

  • Statutory maternity pay, statutory adoption pay, statutory paternity pay, statutory shared parental pay and statutory parental bereavement pay will rise to £184.03 per week from 7 April 2024.
  • Statutory sick pay will rise to £116.75 (from £109.40) from 6 April 2024.


Other wide-ranging changes are expected in the future. Watch this space for further updates!

In the meantime, if you’d like any advice, please get in touch with Emma or visit the Bluestone HR website for further information and to purchase the updated policies from the shop.

If you'd like advice on other topics, including HR, head to CFG’s expert helpline page where you’ll find a list of all our experts who are ready to help you.


« Back to the Knowledge Hub