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Human resource policies set to rollout in the UK in April 2024

Significant alterations to human resource policies are on the horizon for April 2024, set to affect individuals currently employed in the United Kingdom.

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These forthcoming adjustments, with potential to enhance individuals’ livelihoods, are swiftly approaching, just a little over a month away. Modifications concerning flexible work arrangements, valued by many, will be implemented, enabling individuals to request such arrangements from the outset of their employment, rather than waiting months. Additionally, there will be provisions to safeguard women from facing redundancy due to pregnancy.


Two women from the HR department having a conversation about human resource policies


What Are These New Human Resource Policies?

Guaranteed Flexible Work Schedule

The Employment Relations (Flexible Working) Act of 2023 allows employees to request flexible working arrangements from their first day of employment, a departure from the current norm where a waiting period of 26 weeks is required. According to information obtained by Fuse Chronicles, this amendment will become effective on April 6, 2024.

Under the new legislation, workers will have the opportunity to submit two requests for flexible working annually, as opposed to the previous allowance of only one. Furthermore, they will no longer be obligated to provide reasons for their requested changes, a departure from the existing requirement.

Employers will now have a maximum of two months, instead of three, to respond to such requests. These alterations aim to enhance the accessibility of flexible working arrangements, although the criteria for an employer’s rejection remains unchanged.

Safeguard Against Redundancy During Pregnancy And Maternity

Safeguard against redundancy during pregnancy and maternity absence will be enhanced with new regulations effective April 6. These rules apply to pregnancies reported to the employer on or after that date and to maternity leaves ending on or after it.

Currently, before considering maternity, shared parental, or adoption leave, employees for redundancy, employers must first offer them suitable alternative positions if available, giving them priority over other potential candidates for redundancy.

However, under the upcoming regulations, protection against redundancy during pregnancy will commence upon the employee’s notification of pregnancy to their employer and will extend for a designated period after they resume work from statutory maternity leave.

The safeguarded duration is determined from the anticipated childbirth week (or the actual birth date if communicated to the employer) for 18 months. Consequently, if an employee utilizes their full 12-month statutory leave, they will enjoy an additional safeguarded period of six months post-return. For employees experiencing miscarriage, the protection extends for two weeks after the pregnancy ends.


A pregnant woman who is a beneficiary of  new human resource policies hitting the UK in April 2024


How Long Is Maternity Leave?

For individuals eligible for statutory maternity leave, the safeguarded period of pregnancy terminates upon the commencement of maternity leave. In case of miscarriage before 24 weeks of pregnancy, the safeguarded period concludes two weeks post-miscarriage.

After 24 weeks, if a stillbirth occurs, the employee is entitled to complete statutory maternity leave. Regarding maternity leave, the additional safeguarded period expires 18 months following the anticipated childbirth week, unless the employee informs the employer of the child’s birth date (prior to maternity leave conclusion), in which case the additional safeguarded period ends 18 months after that date. This implies that if an employee takes the full 12 months of statutory maternity leave, they will benefit from an extra six months of protection upon returning to work.

How Does Shared Parental Leave Work?

These human resource policies also affect individuals opting for six or more consecutive weeks of shared parental leave without prior maternity.  Also those who seek adoption leave will have their extended safeguarded duration concluded 18 months post the child’s birth or adoption placement date.

Those opting for less than six consecutive weeks will retain redundancy protection should a redundancy scenario occur during any shared parental leave period, consistent with the current policy. These updated regulations will be effective for shared parental leave commencing on or after April 6, 2024.


Human resource policies that will come into full effect in April 2024 which will affect shared parenting.


How Long Is Paternity Leave?

Commencing April 6, employees anticipating parenthood through childbirth or adoption will gain additional entitlements. Presently, they are permitted to take either a one-week or two-week consecutive period for paternity leave. However, as of April 6, they will have the option to divide their paternity leave into two distinct weeks. This time off can be utilized at any point within a year following the birth or adoption. Notification to their employer is required only 28 days prior to the intended leave period.

How Much Carers Leave Am I Entitled To?

Starting April 6, 2024, individuals responsible for the care of others will gain additional entitlements. They will have the option to take a one-week hiatus annually, without compensation, to attend to a dependent.

This may encompass a spouse, partner, child, parent, or any other individual reliant on the caregiver’s support. The necessity for extended care may arise from disability, illness, injury necessitating care exceeding three months, or advanced age. This provision extends to employees requiring time off to provide or organize care for their dependents.

Employees have the liberty to utilize one week of unpaid leave per year to address caregiving arrangements. This leave can be taken in increments of half-days, full days, or a continuous week. Should this absence disrupt business operations, employers reserve the right to postpone the leave but must accommodate it within one month of the original commencement date. Any rescheduling should be mutually agreed upon between the employer and the employee.


New human resource policies that'll affect caregivers in the UK



In April 2024, the United Kingdom will see substantial revisions to its human resource policies, impacting the workforce significantly. These forthcoming changes aim to improve the quality of life for employees and are just over a month away from full implementation. Key adjustments include provisions for flexible work arrangements and enhanced protection for pregnant women against redundancy.

One of the major policy changes is the Employment Relations (Flexible Working) Act of 2023, which grants employees the right to request flexible work schedules from their first day of employment, rather than waiting for 26 weeks. This amendment, effective April 6, 2024, allows workers to submit two requests annually without providing reasons, with employers having a shorter response time of two months.

Furthermore, new regulations will bolster protection for pregnant women against redundancy, extending from the time they notify their employer of pregnancy through their return from statutory maternity leave. This safeguarded period lasts for 18 months, offering additional security even after the completion of maternity leave.

Shared parental leave regulations will also undergo changes, with extended protection for those taking six or more consecutive weeks of leave. Additionally, starting April 6, 2024, individuals anticipating parenthood through childbirth or adoption will gain the flexibility to divide paternity leave into two separate weeks within a year.

Moreover, caregivers will receive additional entitlements, allowing them to take one week of unpaid leave annually to care for dependents such as spouses, children, or elderly parents. This leave can be taken in increments and must be accommodated by employers within a month of the requested start date, with rescheduling discussed mutually.

Overall, these policy reforms represent a significant step towards improving work-life balance and providing essential support for employees in various life circumstances.

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fuse chronicles


travel and tourism blogger

Chinedu Okoronkwo known fondly by friends as Fuse is a Father, biochemist, certified business administrator and entrepreneur specializing in supply chain management and logistics, with vast experience in founding and building businesses in this space. Having worked in an embassy for a number of years and with a passion for traveling, he started Fuse Chronicles, a platform that offers information on everything related to global travels and issues confronting cultural acclimatization around the globe. 


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