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April’s Employment Law Changes for HR

April 4, 2024

April is the time we see new employment law changes for HR as the tax year comes to an end. Legislative changes impact HR practices every year, necessitating proactive adaptation and astute attention from those in charge of handling the complexities of the employer-employee relationship. A plethora of new employment rules are set to take effect in April of 2024, with consequences ranging from hiring and recruitment practices to workplace culture and employee rights. Human resources (HR) professionals will need to navigate a number of important changes in employment law: 

National Insurance Reduction  

Three months after the last decrease was put into effect, the government is reducing employees’ national insurance contributions once more, as stated in this months Spring Budget. 

Employee national insurance will drop from 10%, which was implemented on 6th January 2024 – lowering the amount to 8% as of 6th April 2024. Prior to that, the rate was 12%, which means that starting in April, an average employee making £35,400 will save about £900 annually.  

To guarantee that the change takes effect on the 6th April, HR Professionals must communicate with their payroll provider or finance team.  

Sick and Family-related Leave Statutory Pay Increases 

The government has raised several rates of statutory pay, as is customary at this time of the year. On 6th April 2024, employees who work 5 qualifying days per week will get an increase in statutory sick pay from £109.40 to £116.75 per week.  

The rates of statutory parental bereavement, statutory shared parental, statutory maternity, and statutory adoption pay (after the first six weeks) rise to £184.03 per week, or 90% of the employee’s average weekly wages, whichever is lower. The statutory rate for the first six weeks of maternity or adoption benefits is still 90% of the average weekly wage.  

Paternity Leave Changes 

The Paternity Leave Amendment Regulations 2024 permit the division of paternity leave into two blocks of one week at any time within the first 52 weeks (up from 56 days) following the birth or adoption of a child. These regulations are applicable in cases where the anticipated week of childbirth falls on or after the 6th April 2024.  

The right to take paternity leave must be announced during or before the 15th week prior to the anticipated week of delivery. Each leave period must then be preceded by at least twenty-eight days of notice.  

Fathers or partners may only take one continuous block of one or two weeks of paternity leave during the first eight weeks of the baby’s life, unless an enhanced paternity leave policy specifies otherwise, for parents of children born before the 6th April 2024. 

Carer’s Leave Entitlement  

After the Carer’s Leave Act 2023 obtained Royal Assent in December and regulations were approved by Parliament in February 2024, a new statutory entitlement to carer’s leave will take effect in the UK on the 6th April 2024.  

Workers in England, Wales, and Scotland are entitled to up to one week of unpaid leave annually to care for a dependent who is unwell, injured, disabled, or requires care due to their advanced age. There is no time limit for exercising this entitlement; it is effective from the first day of service. To ensure that workers on caregiver’s leave continue to receive pay, some employers may decide to improve the leave. 

It’s important to draw up a carer’s leave policy to specify how you as an employer will handle requests for unpaid carer’s leave.  

HR specialists and employers need to get ready for the changes in employment legislation that will happen in April. These modifications include a number of important topics that are relevant to both companies and employees. Proactive adaptation and clear communication will be key to ensuring compliance and fostering a supportive and inclusive workplace environment for all employees.  

Personnel Today provides regular updates on employment Law Changes for HR.

Benefits of Miracle HR for Your Business

Employee Absence Management

Keeping track of holiday and attendance regulations can be a nightmare for administrators. Exelsys assists you in lowering absenteeism by making unscheduled absences visible to you and your company. Keep track of and report on any absence that you designate. Employees can request leave online using an easy-to-use self-service portal, where managers can receive email notifications to accept requests quickly.

The leave and absence management function guarantees adherence to corporate policies and labour laws, records time-off balances, and expedites the processing of leave requests from employees. It offers insight into leave trends, enabling more effective staff planning and reducing interruptions to company operations.

Employee Database and Records Management

MiracleHR, powered by Exelsys, provides a centralised location for keeping and maintaining extensive employee data, including personal details, work history, performance reviews, and compliance paperwork. Ensuring accurate and current employee records is a characteristic that aids in making educated decisions and adhering to regulatory obligations.

Storing policies and procedures regarding paternity, carer’s leave and other circumstances has never been easier and more accessible for staff members, lowering the volume of inquiries that HR divisions receive on employee-related information or policies.

Employee Self-service Management

Management of Personal Information: Staff members are provided with access to and control over their personal data, including contact information, emergency contacts, and demographic information, guaranteeing accurate and current documentation.

Benefits Enrolment and Management: With the help of this feature, staff members can use a self-service portal to register in and manage their benefit plans, which include health insurance, retirement plans, and flexible spending accounts. This helps to lower administrative burden and promote employee ownership.

Time-Off Requests and Tracking: Staff members can easily monitor their available balances and submit requests with ease. This includes tracking and requesting time off for things like vacation, sick leave, and personal days.

Access to Payroll and Tax Information: Through the self-service portal, employees may obtain their pay stubs, tax forms, and payroll information, increasing transparency and decreasing the number of questions that HR departments receive.

Performance & Goal Management: By enabling employees to monitor, report, and receive feedback on their performance goals, this feature promotes a continuous improvement culture and improves alignment with organisational goals.

Learning and growth: By giving staff members the ability to access training materials, sign up for classes, and monitor their progress towards professional growth, MiracleHR, powered by Exelsys, fosters a culture of ongoing education and skill improvement.

Miracle HR, powered by Exelsys, is a feature-rich, standalone HR solution that can be seamlessly integrated with our payroll ERP, MiraclePay. By doing away with the requirement for any manual processing, this can result in even greater efficiency gains.

Next Step  

To learn more about how Miracle HR powered by Exelsys integrates all areas of HR and can benefit your organisation, click here. Alternatively, you can arrange a free online demonstration tailored to your specific requirements by emailing us at miracle@eque2.com or phoning us on 01628 702702.  

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