2024 may be more challenging than you think
While we all know that inflation, interest & business rates are going to continue to have a big impact on our cashflow compounded by the rise in minimum wage rates, there are a number of other HR regs coming down the tracks that most people are simply not aware of that will also have a significant financial impact.
It’s not all doom and gloom though and as the old saying goes fore warned is fore armed which is why I want to share the following so that you are ahead of the game so to speak.
All organisations including ‘not for profits’ and charities will need to surmount the same obstacles.
The Rise in minimum wage rates for all employees 21 and over to just over £11/hour which comes into effect in April.
While this is great for the employee it will put pressure on the employer to increase rates for supervisors and managers to maintain the pay gap differential.
Staff, because the government has frozen the qualification levels from moving from one income tax band to the next, means that although they receive a wage increase to comply with the law and maintain pay differentials, their take home pay may not increase because they are now having to pay the higher rate tax which coupled with increasing mortgage repayments as more deals run out, overall inflation and projected council tax rises will lead to more pressure on the employer to ‘further raise wages’.
In addition to these adverse factors the government ‘in its wisdom’ has given notice that the following employment regulations will come into effect no later than April 2024 each of which although small in itself will add to the complexity and costs of staff management.
In no particular order
The Flexible Working (Amendment) Regulations remove the requirement for employees to have at least 26 weeks’ service to be entitled to make a flexible working request. The Employment Relations (Flexible Working) Act 2023 received Royal Assent on 20 July 2023. The Act will make several changes to the right to request flexible working, including that employees will be entitled to make two requests (instead of one) in any 12-month period and employers will have to respond to a request within two months (reduced from three months). It does not mean that the employer will automatically agree to any flexible working request, but they will have to deal in a proceduralised manner which requires management time and a proper process to evaluate each and every request
The Carer’s Leave Regulations 2024 bring into force the right to take one week’s unpaid carer’s leave per year for employees with a caring responsibility for a dependant. Eligible employees can take the leave as half or full days, up to and including taking a block of a whole week of leave at once. The required notice period is twice as many days as the period of leave required, in advance of the earliest day of the leave and does not need to be in writing. An employer can postpone a period of carer’s leave where this would unduly disrupt the operation of their business but must give notice as soon as is reasonably practicable and following consultation with the employee, confirm a new date on which they can take the leave within a month of the original date(s) requested. Once more an employer will need to develop a policy and train its managers to handle these requests.
The Maternity Leave, Adoption Leave and Shared Parental Leave (Amendment) Regulations 2024 will extend the protection against redundancy for employees who take maternity leave, adoption leave or shared parental leave to 18 months following the expected week of childbirth, placement for adoption. In the case of shared parental leave, the extension only applies if the employee has taken at least six consecutive weeks of shared parental leave. Employees can still be made redundant during this period, but have preferential treatment with regard to suitable alternative employment. The legislation comes into force on 6 April. Yet again should there be a need for redundancies special care will be required when dealing with employees who fall within these categories.
Are you ready to cope with all of this?
are your policies in place to reflect these regulation tweaks?
have your managers been trained to deal with these changes?
A monthly retainer agreement with NewmanHR means you have someone who is keeping you ahead of all these additions that you simply can’t keep track of because your focus is better spent on running a profitable business.
By having us as your outsourced HR we’ll guide you safely through the maze and allow you to spend your time focused on running the business comforted that all HR issues are in safe and experienced hands.