2024 – The year of big changes in employment law

From day one flexible working requests and carers leave to protection from redundancy, here’s what you need to know about the changes.

From our experience (and we’re certain the rest of the HR world can relate), keeping up with the ever-evolving world of employment law and regulations can often feel like a marathon that never quite ends – especially when they all emerge at once, as they seem to have done recently. One minute you think you’ve got it figured out, and the next, there’s a whole new set of rules to navigate.

This year, the landscape of employment law is undergoing significant transformations (all for the better), making it essential for HR professionals and employers to remain proactive and adaptable. Here at Burendo, we’re not ones to shy away from these changes, in fact, we like to think we’re setting the pace when it comes to adapting to the latest regulations, keeping our people front and center every step of the way.

So, what’s new?

Kicking off with a biggie: Flexible Working

One of the most significant changes in 2024 has been the expansion of flexible working rights. As of 6th April, employees can make statutory flexible working requests from day one of employment. Not only that, they can make two requests within any 12-month period, the response time has been shortened to two months (unless mutually agreed otherwise), and it’s now mandatory to consult on the request before reaching a decision.

At Burendo, we’ve been all-in on supporting day-one flexible working requests for over a year now! We get it – everyone’s needs are different, and they can shift over time, whether that’s driven by our stage in life, external commitments, or personal interests. We all have different things that matter to us, which is why we’re fully committed to supporting our colleagues balance their work and home life wherever we can.

Next up, Carers Leave

From the beginning of this month, 6th April, employees are entitled to up to one week of unpaid leave each year to provide or arrange care for a dependent who has a long-term care need. A dependent has a long-term care need if they have an illness or injury that means they’re expected to need care for three months or more, a disability as defined in the Equality Act 2010, or a care need related to old age. This leave can be taken flexibly in half or full days, up to one week.

We’re proud to have launched our new Carers Leave policy and be able to support our colleagues in managing their professional and personal lives without compromise at Burendo. Not only that, our Agile approach to work means we don’t measure success by time spent at a desk; instead, we focus on delivering results while giving our colleagues the flexibility to shape their workday according to their personal needs.

Paternity Leave

Also effective from (you guessed it), 6th April, the Paternity amendments bring in more flexibility, giving employees more control over when and how they can take their leave. With the new amendments, employees can now take their leave within the first year of birth or adoption placement, rather than the first 56 days. And the best part, they can split their leave into separate periods, offering even more flexibility to shape those crucial early days within the first year just the way they want.

We seek to go the extra mile to support our colleagues through every stage of preparing to expand their families – from the lead-up, to the arrival of their new addition and beyond. Our Paternity, Non-Pregnant Parent, and Co-Adopter policy provides up to six weeks of paid leave with eligibility from Day one of joining Burendo – something we’re pretty proud of! With our enhanced family leave, money is less of a worry, and our colleagues can focus on what truly matters: spending precious time with their new addition, exactly as it should be.

Redundancy Rights

Finally (for now), enhanced protection for employees during pregnancy and those returning to work after family leave has been extended. This means from the 6th of April, redundancy protection will apply from the point an employee informs their employer they are pregnant, and for a period of 18-months after the expected week of childbirth, the child’s birth date, or date of adoption.

So, there you have it, 2024 is a big year for employment law, and whilst it’s important to adhere to the rules, it’s also important to create a workplace that truly supports people, no matter what curveballs the law throws our way. At Burendo, we’re proud to support our colleagues and we’ll keep listening and reviewing our benefits and policies to make sure we’re doing just that.

A blog by

Hannah Stewart

People Partner