Extension to family-friendly rights

14th December 2023

Several new family-friendly regulations will come into force on 6 April 2024, including a day one right to make a flexible working request and extended redundancy protections for new parents. A summary of the new regulations is as follows:

Flexible working to become a day one right

The Flexible Working (Amendment) Regulations 2023 will remove the current requirement that an employee must have 26 weeks’ service before they can make a flexible working request. Instead, this will be a day one right for employees. This only applies to flexible working requests made on or after 6 April 2024.

Protection from redundancy

The Maternity Leave, Adoption Leave and Shared Parental Leave (Amendment) Regulations 2024 will extend the period of special protection from redundancy for employees who are on maternity leave, adoption leave, and shared parental leave.

Currently, where an employer is carrying out a redundancy exercise, they must offer suitable alternative vacancies to those on maternity leave. This special protection will extend to individuals on adoption or shared parental leave. Additionally, the protection starts when the employee notifies the employer of the pregnancy and extends for 18 months after childbirth. For adoption leave, the protected period will be 18 months from placement, and for shared parental leave, the period will be 18 months from birth.

Carer’s leave

Employees will be able to apply for up to one week of unpaid carer’s leave in any 12-month period as a day one right under The Carer’s Leave Regulations 2024. This will apply to employees who have a dependent with a long-term care need. Employees are protected from detriment and dismissal if they take, or seek to take, carer’s leave.

If you require any assistance on preparing for these new regulations, please contact our employment team.

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