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New Family-friendly Regulations to Take Effect April 6

A series of new family-friendly regulations will come into effect starting April 6th of 2024. These include flexible-working arrangements right from the first day of employment, carer’s leave, and redundancy protection extensions for new parents.

In this Pacific Prime UK blog post, we’re gonna be going through the new family-friendly regulations you can expect to see along with potential benefits and factors to consider.

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What the New Regulations Entail

These new regulations, laid before the parliament on December 11th of 2023, will take effect in England, Scotland, and Wales.

The regulations, now published and awaiting parliamentary approval, aim to protect employees from redundancy and dismissal as well as allowing employees to work flexibly without needing to serve a certain number of weeks of service first.

The flexible-working arrangement, in particular, will also help encourage employers to consider working arrangements when advertising vacancies.

The Flexible-Working Arrangements

The 2023 flexible-working arrangement will remove the requirement in which employees must serve 26 weeks of service before making formal flexible-working requests.

While changes will come into effect, there is no exact date for when these changes will come into effect.

However, it is likely that these changes will also take effect in April 2024. Moreover, the ACAS (the Advisory, Conciliation, and Arbitration Services) also announced that an updated flexible-working Code of Practice will be published in 2024.

The Carer’s Leave

With the carer’s leave regulations, employees who are unpaid carers for relatives and/or friends will receive up to five days of unpaid leave annually. To do so, employees must give their employers a notice of at least twice the length of the time needed to be taken off work.

A written notice is not required, but the employee must provide a statement to confirm the leave request along with specifying the day(s) or part of days they would like to take the leave.

Those on carer’s leave will also be granted protection from dismissal or detriment resulting from taking the leave.

Employers can’t deny employees’ carer’s leave requests, but they have the option to postpone the leave request should they see the leave request as a disruption to their business operation.

Should the leave get postponed, there must be a written counter-notice from the employer as soon as possible but no later than 7 days after the leave request.

There may be some alterations to the draft Carer’s Regulation before official finalization. Thus, employers should update or create appropriate policies and procedures to manage effectively following the implementation of the carer’s leave regulations.

New Parental Leave Regulations

Under the new parental leave regulations, employees on maternity leave will be granted protection from redundancy throughout the entire pregnancy and 18 months from the first day of the estimated childbirth week.

Adoptive parents will gain protection from redundancy for 18 months following the adoption placement. Meanwhile, shared adoptive parents’ protection covers 18 months from the birth as long as the parent took at least six weeks of shared parental leave.

At the moment, the extension of the protection for pregnancy applies if the employer gets notified of said pregnancy on or after April 6th, 2024. This applies to any maternity or adoption ending on or after April 6th, along with any shared parental leave starting on or after that date.

Conclusion

These amendments and additions to the UK’s family-friendly regulations offer greater protection as well as support for employees during major events such as pregnancy, adoption, and parental leaves.

As we begin our journey into the year of 2024, it’s important for employers and employees alike to familiarize themselves with benefits and offers from these updated regulations. By regularly familiarizing with potential benefits, offers, and terms or conditions, you ensure a smooth, accommodating, and cooperative work environment.

Recently, the UK work environment witnessed changes ranging from growing workplace redundancies to more common inclusive employee benefits. With the upcoming regulations coming into effect, you may also be interested in these other posts.

Are you expecting a new arrival? Embrace the reassurance of tomorrow TODAY for your little angels with our Maternity Insurance.

Are you looking for the best insurance coverage for your employees and possibly their families too? Check out our Corporate Health Insurance page here!

Should you have any further questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us.

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Content Writer at Pacific Prime Thailand
Wish Sutthatothon (Nickname: Guy) is currently a content writer at Pacific Prime Thailand, an insurance broker that connects individuals and businesses with insurance providers worldwide. He creates and edits blog articles, guides, reports, webpages, and other types of digital content.

He graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Communication Arts, Media & Communication major (concentration: Creative Content) from Mahidol University International College (MUIC). During the compulsory major elective period in the summer of 2021 and voluntarily during the summer of 2022, he also interned as a video and photo editor at Mbrella Films.

He has experience working as an English Content Writer at a real estate buying/renting/selling platform in Thonglor. There, he crafted company blog posts on a multitude of topics. Topics include market trends, legal issues and disputes in property businesses, financial guides, expat guides, home insurance, home decoration and maintenance, and weekly real estate news quick-recaps. Occasionally, as part of the blog-writing process, he would also translate existing Thai blogs to English.

In his free time, Guy enjoys doing scriptwriting and storytelling for comic strips, watching movies, and listening to music (particularly film scores).
Wish Sutthatothon