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Emma O'Connor


April 2024 is proving to be a busy month for employment law changes. HR and business managers will need to get to grips with these changes and what impacts they will have on policies and processes as well as pay and benefits. In the first of a two-part article, Emma O’Connor, Legal Director, recaps the key changes and HR’s next steps.

Employment law updates in April

Holiday entitlement under lockdown leave regulations

Just a reminder that as of 31st March 2024, all carried over holiday under lockdown leave regulations must be taken otherwise it is lost. HR should check workers carried over holiday to make sure if they do have leave that was carried over from 2020, that it has been booked and taken by the 31st March. If not, remind staff who have such leave that they have a few days to take this leave (remembering of course, workers must give notice of their leave, and it must be taken in accordance with holiday policies). Also, such leave cannot be paid in lieu. 


Holiday year starting on/after 1st April 2024

If you have a holiday year which starts on/after 1st April, you can benefit from the new holiday accrual and rolled-up holiday rules for irregular and part-year workers (only). Under new rules where the employer has a holiday year which starts on or after 1st April 2024, there is a new rate of holiday accrual for irregular or part-year workers. Holiday entitlement for these workers will be calculated as 12.07% of actual hours worked in a pay period.

The new holiday regulations also allow employers to use rolled-up holiday pay (if they choose) to calculate an irregular or part-year worker’s holiday entitlement, again for holiday years which start on or after 1st April 2024. This means that holiday pay can be calculated at the rate of 12.07% of a worker’s total pay in the pay period and is paid in addition to their pay for the pay period. The government guidance gives examples of how this can be worked out. 

Remember, if you are going to change your method of calculation for holiday and holiday pay, this should be set out clearly in a contract or policy, so the worker understands how holiday is both calculated and paid. Also, make sure that any rolled-up holiday pay is set out clearly on the worker’s payslip so there is no confusion over what the worker is or is not paid.

If your holiday pay does not start on 1st April, you will have a little longer to wait. However, it is always a good time to review your holiday rules and policies not just for workers but also for regular hours/paid staff remembering the new changes in January relating to calculating holiday at “normal” pay and rules relating to carry over of holiday. 


Skilled Worker visa salary thresholds  

The headline point to note is that for new skilled worker visa applications from 4th April 2024, the minimum, gross annual salary threshold is increasing from £26,200 to £38,700. For skilled worker visa renewals from 4th April 2024, the minimum, gross annual salary threshold is increasing to £29,000. These are the “headline” rates, as with all immigration rules and salary thresholds the devil is in the detail. You need to consider the role, whether there are any exemptions, what the “going rate” is (to name but a few things). Careful analysis is going to be needed, so please contact our employment and immigration solicitors.


National living and minimum wages

A key change to note here is that the age band as to who is eligible to receive the National Living Wage is to be expanded from 1st April 2024 to include workers aged 21 and over this is a reduction from age 23 and over.

Also, from 1st April 2024 the National Living Wage and National Minimum Wage rates will rise as follows:

  • The National Living Wage (for people aged 21 or older) will increase from £10.42 to £11.44 per hour.
  • The National Minimum Wage for workers aged 18–20 will increase from £7.49 to £8.60 per hour.
  • The young workers rate for workers aged 16–17 will increase from £5.28 to £6.40 per hour.

The apprentice rate for apprentices under 19, or over 19 and in the first year of the apprenticeship, will increase from £5.28 to £6.40 per hour.


Statutory rates of pay

From 6th April, there is a new rate of statutory sick pay - £116.75.

Also, from 7th April, there is a new rate of statutory pay for maternity, adoption, paternity, shared parental leave and parental bereavement leave - £184.03 per qualifying week.


Compensation figures

April also marks the yearly change on calculating both a week’s pay and compensation for unfair dismissal (amongst other rates). From 6th April 2024, the limit on a statutory week's pay (used for calculating various awards, including statutory redundancy and unfair dismissal basic awards) increasing from £643 to £700. Also, for dismissals (or events) which take effect on/after 6th April 2024, the maximum compensatory award for unfair dismissal increasing from £105,707 to £115,115 (or a year's gross pay, whichever is lower).

Next week we will cover changes to family leave and redundancy protection. Stay up to date and contact our employment team if we can help with the changes and what these will mean to your policies and processes.

Consistent with our policy when giving comment and advice on a non-specific basis, we cannot assume legal responsibility for the accuracy of any particular statement. In the case of specific problems we recommend that professional advice be sought.

Get in touch

If you have any questions relating to this article or have any legal disputes you would like to discuss, please contact the Employment team on

[email protected]
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