Employment Law Changes in 2024: How to prepare

Following our look ahead at the raft of employment updates in January’s newsletter, staying informed and proactive of the upcoming changes is crucial for employers to ensure compliance and foster a positive workplace.

With so many updates coming into force this year, employers will undoubtedly need to take steps to ensure that they are best prepared.

Review procedures

 Employers will need to review their procedures, particularly around annual leave, flexible working, harassment, redundancy, and tips (for those in the hospitality industry).

Policies and procedures shall need to be amended in line with the new legal requirements so employers are ready to deal with employee requests and any incidents quickly and in line with the latest rules.

Update policies and employee handbooks

 Employers will need to ensure policies and handbooks cover the new updates and how the employer’s business will manage them.

The following policies shall need to be reviewed, updated, or created accordingly:

  1. Flexible working policies and letters considering the changes to the right to request flexible working, including the removal of the 26 weeks qualifying period, requiring consultation before rejecting a request and reducing the decision period from three to two months.

  2. Anti-harassment and dignity at work policies shall also need to be reviewed, updated, and re-circulated to staff in advance of the new duty to “take reasonable steps to prevent sexual harassment”, which is expected to come into force around October 2024. Employers may also want to consider putting in place a reporting register for complaints about all forms of harassment in the workplace to help detect new trends and resolve any issues.

  3.  Paternity leave policies and procedures shall need to be updated to reflect the changes to the regulations. This includes employees will be able to take two separate one-week blocks (rather than previously having to take in one consecutive period); employees will be able to take paternity leave at any time in the 52 weeks after birth or placement for adoption (rather than previously being only able to take this in the first 8 weeks); and; employees will only need to give 4 weeks’ notice of their intention to take paternity leave (this is a reduction from the previous 15 weeks which was required before the EWC.

Create new policies

 Employers should create new separate policies with information about each update and clear reporting procedures for staff to follow.

Employers shall need to introduce new carers leave policies as employees will be able to apply for up to one week of unpaid carer’s leave in any 12 months if they have a dependant with a long-term care need and the leave is to provide or arrange care. This shall be a ‘day one’ right.

Offer training

 It is a good idea for employers to organise staff training to re-establish codes of conduct and how to manage all these new processes. Managers will need to understand how to manage new leave requests and conduct issues promptly in line with the law.

As a result of the new duty on employers to take reasonable steps to prevent sexual harassment, employers’ anti-harassment training should also be reviewed and updated and ensured that this is rolled out as required.

Update software

Employers will need to make sure any software used for managing leave requests can manage requests for new types of leave.

Holiday pay systems relating to irregular hours and part year workers shall need to be reviewed for leave years beginning on or after 1 April 2024.


Keeping documentation and processes up to date is not just for ensuring legal compliance but also shows that, as an employer, you are committed to providing business support, which shall assist in attracting and retaining staff whilst fostering a positive workplace.

With the sheer volume of changes on the horizon this year, it is easy for employers to feel overwhelmed. If you are an employer and have any questions or concerns about what you need to do to prepare for these legal updates, please contact the BLHR and employment team, and we shall be happy to assist you.

The contents of this article are intended for general information purposes only and shall not be deemed to be, or constitute legal advice. We cannot accept responsibility for any loss as a result of acts or omissions taken in respect of this article.