Employment Update – January 2024
Employment Update – January 2024
Jacqu

4 January 2024

Welcome to the new year! As we embark on 2024, it’s crucial to stay informed about the latest developments in employment law. Here’s a snapshot of key updates and changes that could impact your business:

Deliveroo worker status judgment: implications for employers

In December the Supreme Court handed down its decision in the long running dispute between Deliveroo and the unions representing many of its riders. The unions appealed all the way to the Supreme Court arguing that the riders were workers and therefore satisfied the conditions entitling the unions to represent them. The inclusion of a genuine substitution clause used by some of the riders was enough to dismiss the appeal. The Supreme Court’s decision made it clear that if an individual has a genuine unfettered right to get someone else to perform the work they have agreed to do they cannot be a worker or employee. Read the judgement here.

Strikes (Minimum Service Levels) Act 2023

In alignment with European countries, the UK government has passed this act to ensure essential services during strikes. Employers can find guidance on issuing work notices here.

Amended Equality Act 2010

UK discrimination law was not affected by the loss of retained EU law contained in certain statuary instruments. However, the loss of directly applicable rights and case law principles would have an impact on discrimination law. To avoid uncertainty the government has taken action to reflect existing EU discrimination law right and principles in the EA 2010 from 1 January 2024. It is the form rather than the substance that will change and having these principles written down in the EA 2010 should provide clarity to both employers and employees. As EU law will continue to develop and not take effect in the UK, there will come a time when UK discrimination law starts to diverge from the EU position. Read a summary of the changes here.

Right to request predictable working

Acas has published a draft code to help employers prepare for the new legislation. It is anticipated that The Workers (Predictable Terms and Conditions) Act 2023 will come into force in October 2024. Acas’ proposed Code of Practice aims to help both businesses and workers understand this new law and sets out good practice on responding to these requests.

ACAS Early Conciliation and ET Cases Data 2023 – 2024 

Stay updated with the latest data on early conciliation and employment tribunal cases from 2023 to 2024.

New Code of Practice on Preventing Illegal Working

In November the UK introduced a Code of Practice on the Prevention of Illegal Working in line with its ongoing commitment to maintain a fair and lawful employment market. The Draft Code sets out how employers can establish a statutory excuse for right to work checks (including repeat checks for those with a time limited right to work in the UK) and how civil penalties will be administered and calculated from 22 January 2024. Familiarise yourself with the Draft Code to ensure compliance.

New minimum wage rates from April 2024

The new rates from 1 April 2024 are:

  • National Living Wage (21+) – £11.44
  • 18 – 20 year old rate – £8.60
  • 16 – 17 year old rate – £6.40
  • Apprentice rate – £6.40
  • Accommodation offset – £9.99

Unpaid leave for carers

From 6 April 2024, carers will have a day one right to request one week per year of unpaid carer’s leave. Employers can postpone a request if the operation of the business would be unduly disrupted. Employees would be protected from discrimination or detriment because they chose to exercise this new statutory right.

Reform of non-compete clauses in employment contracts

It has been over six months since the government published its long awaited response to the 2020 consultation on reforming non-compete clauses. The details around the proposals and when they will come into force has yet to be released. It is not known what effect the cap will have on the enforceability of existing longer clauses. In the face of this uncertainty and until such time that this is settled law employers may need to increase reliance on other contractual provisions to protect their businesses.

Stay ahead of the curve in 2024! For expert advice and assistance call or email our employment team:

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