Employment Law: What’s Changing?

Out with the old, in with the new! Anticipate changes to existing employment legislation as we kick off 2024.

There are some notable updates to employment legislation in what is looking like a year of change. To keep you informed and outline the people it will impact, here’s are the updates that you need to be aware of:

Flexible Working

Commencing 6 April 2024, employees throughout the UK have increased flexibility in working location and schedules. Employers will be obligated to assess all flexible working requests and must provide a justification in the event of rejection. Under the current legislation, employees are requested to have worked for a minimum of 26 weeks before becoming eligible to submit a flexible working request. The upcoming legislation will transform this requirement, allowing employees to make flexible working requests from the outset of their employment. Additionally, workers will have the opportunity to submit two requests within a 12-month period, the existing law currently only allows only one request.

Redundancy protection

Existing legislation stipulates that prior to terminating employee contracts due to maternity leave, shared parental leave, or adoption leave, employers must, if feasible, extend an offer of suitable alternative employment to any other individuals provisionally chosen for redundancy.

From 6 April 2024, this entitlement will be expanded to cover the duration of pregnancy and for 18 months thereafter.

Pregnancy: This safeguard against redundancy will come into effect when an employee informs their employer on or after 6 April 2024. If eligible for statutory maternity leave, the period of protected pregnancy will conclude on the commencement date of the statutory maternity leave. In event of a miscarriage before 24 weeks of pregnancy, the protected period concludes two weeks after the miscarriage. However, if a stillbirth occurs after 24 weeks of pregnancy, the employee is eligible for the entirety of statutory maternity leave.

Maternity leave: The extended safeguard period will conclude 18 months after the anticipated week of childbirth unless the employee has communicated the child’s birth date to the employer. In the latter scenario, the additional protected period will last for 18 months following the specified birth date. This means if an employee utilises their entire 12-month statutory maternity leave entitlement, they will benefit from an additional six months of protection after returning to work.

Adoption leave: The supplementary protected period concludes 18 months after the child’s placement for adoption.

Shared parental leave: The extension is only applicable if the employee has engaged in a minimum of six consecutive weeks of shared parental leave. In cases where employees have already taken maternity or adoption leave before opting for shared parental leave, they are entitled to the protected period corresponding to the initial maternity or adoption leave, without an additional extension for subsequent shared parental leave. Government guidance to compliment the implementation of the regulation will be disclosed in the near future.

Paternity leave

Employees will now have enhanced rights if a baby’s expected week of childbirth is on or after 6 April 2024, or for children placed with an adopter. While the existing legislation allows employees to take just one week in total or two consecutive weeks of paternity leave, the new regulations permit leave to be taken at any time within the 52 weeks following birth or adoption. This is a departure from the current requirement, which mandates that leave must be taken within 56 days after birth. Additionally, the notice period for paternity leave has been shortened from 15 weeks before childbirth to 28 days.

Carer’s Leave Act 2023

Workers with caregiving responsibilities now have the right to a minimum of one week of unpaid carer’s leave per year, marking a new day one employment right. Requests for this leave can be made for consecutive or non-consecutive half-days or full days, including the option to take a block of one week at once. Individuals exercising this newfound right will be granted protections against dismissal or any adverse treatment.

Dismissal and re-engagement

In reaction to P&O Ferries’ sudden and unnotified mass redundancies, the government has released a draft Code of Practice on Dismissal and Re-engagement for consultation on 24 January 2023, with the aim to tackle ‘fire and rehire’ practices. This is anticipated to be published in Spring 2024.

Holiday pay and TUPE

Holiday pay for part-time and irregular hours workers has been revised, with entitlement now calculated at 12.07 of hours worked in a pay period. The reforms also extend to Transfer of Undertakings Protection of Employment (TUPE) rights, safeguarding employees and their benefits during employment transfers. These changes aim to alleviate the burden on small businesses by permitting direct consultation with new employees if no existing worker representatives exist. If employee representatives, such as trade unions, are present, employers must engage in consultation with them.

Minimum wage

Amidst inflation and the ongoing cost of living challenges, there is positive news for everyone as the minimum wage is set to increase. Starting 1 April 2024, the minimum wage will climb from £10.42 to £11.44 per hour, extending to include 21- and 22-year-olds.

What can we do for you?

Understanding new legislation can be challenging! Baron Grey have been guiding local employers through employment-related matters for many years. These include areas such as redundancy and settlement agreements. Whether you need to review your employment contracts or are negotiating a settlement we’re here to help you!

Need to learn more or have questions about redundancy, settlement agreements or anything else employment related? Call is on 020 8891 4311 or email us at info@barongrey.co.uk to schedule a free of charge initial consultation.

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David Thorley


David works on civil litigation with a particular interest in disputes arising from wills, probate and trusts. Beyond this, he has experience with claims in a range of fields including: employment; property/landlord and tenant; company law/insolvency; construction; and debt recovery.

David qualified as a solicitor in 2022 having previously worked in academia and journalism. This background has given him a clear-sighted perspective on the cases he handles, a ready appreciation of the complex issues at stake, and a pragmatic approach to advising clients.

Chris Wright


Chris initially qualified and practiced at the Bar for several years before going into industry with two major UK construction and engineering companies. He left this position to become a senior partner at a law firm where he handled a range of domestic and international construction and engineering law matters. He was an Adjudicator on the TeCSA panel, and acted as a reviewer for the FIDIC White Book Conditions. He has contributed to a text book on BIM and Quantity Surveying. 

Chris remains a member of the Society of Construction Law where he brings his experience as a consultant on construction law matters. He is also a practising Mediator and Arbitrator, being both an FCIArb and an Associate of the Civil Mediation Council.

Peter Arnstein


Peter qualified as a solicitor following his training with a firm on Richmond Green and has since worked with firms on both sides of the river. Initially specialising in criminal law and dispute resolution, he later brought the forensic skills he had acquired to residential and commercial conveyancing, Wills and Probate. His approach in acting for clients has always been to look for problems and offer solutions.  

Peter is delighted to have now joined Baron Grey where he continues to look after clients old and new, seeking to provide an approachable and professional service to all.

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Feel free to get in touch with us via phone or email, or complete the form and one of our solicitors will be delighted to call you back.

James Atkins

Associate Solicitor

James is a private client solicitor specialising in wills, trusts, powers of attorney and estate administration. He graduated from the University of Glasgow with a degree in English Literature in 2013 and went on to complete his law conversion course at BPP University. 

James trained at Baron Grey and after a sabbatical in Russia has recently re-joined the firm. James has a very friendly and approachable manner and is an asset to Baron Grey.

Lara Symons


Lara Symons qualified as a solicitor in 1997 and has specialised in all aspects of Immigration Law since then. Lara was formally the head of the Immigration Appeals Team at White Ryland Solicitors in Shepherds Bush, before moving to Spain for four years with her family.

Lara joined Baron Grey in 2013 and now works for the firm dealing with a wide range of immigration and probate matters.

Minnie Waite


Minnie Waite joined Baron Grey in 2017 as a conveyancer having worked in the City for many years.

She has over 20 years’ experience in dealing with all aspects of conveyancing transactions and has studied the License Conveyancing course. Minnie specialises in freehold/leasehold, enfranchisement, has some commercial experience and advises on mortgages.

She is extremely approachable and friendly and a great addition to the Baron Grey team.

Ben Hall

Solicitor Advocate

Ben Hall is an experienced solicitor who re-joined Baron Grey solicitors in early 2018, having originally trained under Vincent in 2006.

Ben specialises in criminal defence work and regularly represents clients from the investigatory stage all the way through to the Crown Court and Court of Appeal, where he has had notable success.

Ben has expanded his practice into civil litigation with a particular emphasis on commercial and probate disputes.

Emma Faulkner


After being awarded a 2:1 degree in Law from the University of Reading, Emma joined Baron Grey in 2012. Since then, she has successfully completed the Legal Practice Course part-time obtaining a Distinction, and qualifying as a solicitor in February 2016.

Emma assists the litigation team and specialises in Family Law, including divorce and financial proceedings. Emma also deals with the niche area of Private Client Law concerning Lasting Powers of Attorney. She follows the footsteps of her grandfather who worked for Baron Grey as a senior legal assistant.

Vincent Hambleton-Grey


After graduating in Law in London, Vincent joined the firm in 1990 as a newly qualified solicitor. He specialises in litigation and company commercial work as well as employment and matrimonial matters. 

He is passionate about representing those who do not always have a fair voice in the community and his clients vary from local people to many small businesses in the area. Whenever possible, Vincent’s aim is always to meet and discuss matters with all new clients personally first. 

Born in Swansea, South Wales, he moved to London as an undergraduate and has lived in Twickenham since 1994. He is married with two daughters.