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How the 2024 Paternity Leave and Pay Amendments Benefit UK Families and Employers

We’ve got some exciting news to share that will make a difference to families and employers across the UK. The government has recently announced some big changes to Paternity Leave and Pay, set to come into effect from the 8th of March, 2024. These amendments aim to provide more flexibility and support for fathers and partners while also offering advantages for employers. So, let’s dive in and explore how these changes will benefit everyone involved.

Flexibility for Fathers and Partners

One of the key changes is that paternity leave no longer has to be taken in one consecutive block of one or two weeks. Instead, dads and partners now have the flexibility to split their leave into non-consecutive blocks, giving them greater control over their time off. This means they can better accommodate the changing needs of their family while still taking the time needed to bond with their new baby. Whether it’s attending doctor’s appointments, helping with childcare, or simply being there to support their partner, this new flexibility means that fathers and partners can be more present and engaged during this important time in their family’s life.

Reduced Notice Period

Another big change is the shorter notice period for taking Paternity Leave. Before, employees had to give their employers more notice. But now, dads and partners only need to give four weeks’ notice before taking leave. This makes it easier for them to decide when to take time off, helping them to better adjust to their family’s needs with less stress during a busy and emotional time.

Support for Early or Premature Births

The changes also provide support for families when babies arrive earlier than expected. If dads and partners’ babies are born prematurely or before the 6th of April, 2024, they can still receive Statutory Paternity Pay (SPP) under the new rules. This safety net means that families can access the financial support they need, offering peace of mind when things don’t go as planned.

Transitional Guidance for Employers

With changes to Paternity Leave and Pay, employers need to know what to do. Even though HMRC’s PAYE payroll software will be updated by the 6th of April, 2024, employers may face the issue of babies born before this date. They’ll need to work out how to get back any payments made for Paternity Leave under the new rules before the software is updated. This means they’ll need to plan carefully and take action to follow the rules.

Claiming Repayment

If employees take Paternity Leave before the 6th of April, 2024, employers can recoup the money they paid, whether it was one long period or two shorter ones. Also, small and medium-sized businesses that are struggling financially can ask for an advance payment to cover these costs.  Businesses can then focus on their employees’ well-being without worrying about money.

Benefits for Families and Employers

So, what does all of this mean for families and employers? It means that new parents receive an added layer of flexibility and support during a challenging period of adjustment. By being able to split Paternity Leave into separate parts and with reduced notice requirements, families can better juggle the demands of work and caring for their new arrival. This flexibility can significantly ease the stress and pressures of balancing work and family responsibilities.

For employers, these changes demonstrate a commitment to prioritising the well-being of their workforce. By providing clear guidance on navigating these changes, employers show they value their employees’ needs and are willing to support them during important life events. This can create a positive work environment and contribute to employee satisfaction and loyalty. Overall, these changes benefit both families and employers by promoting a healthier work-life balance and creating a more supportive workplace culture.

Building a More Inclusive and Supportive Society

The 2024 Paternity Leave and Pay changes benefit everyone involved. With these amendments, dads and partners gain increased flexibility in managing their time, allowing them to be more present for their families during important moments. Meanwhile, employers benefit from streamlined processes that make it easier to support their employees through big life events. This demonstrates a genuine commitment to encouraging a healthy work-life balance and ensuring families receive the support they need.

Ask an Expert

To find out more about the new Paternity Leave and Pay changes, reach out to us on 01603 630882 or fill out our online form. Our expert team will be happy to help you get the ball rolling. Let’s ensure families and employers reap the rewards of these positive updates. Start your journey to increased flexibility today.

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A Guide to the New Employment Laws in 2023

The UK’s employment law landscape is constantly evolving, and 2023 so far has been no exception. New laws and regulations regarding employment aiming to protect workers’ rights, promote diversity and offer better working conditions have been passed with some coming into effect in 2023 and others in 2024. So, what are the main changes, and how could they affect you?

Key changes to UK employment laws

Here are five of the notable changes you should be aware of:

  1. Increased flexibility for employees

The pandemic changed how we work, and the government responded by introducing a framework around remote working and requiring employers to discuss and document remote work policies. 

With effect from 1 April 2023, employees now have the right to request flexible working from day one of employment. This removes the existing 26-week qualifying period. Employers will also be required to respond to a flexible working request within 2 months and consult with employees before rejecting it if that’s the decision.

  1. Enhanced protection for pregnant women and new parents. 

The Protection from Redundancy (Pregnancy and Family Leave) Bill 2023 came into force on 24th July 2023, and the regulations needed to bring the proposals into effect are working their way through Parliament. 

Whilst we don’t know yet when the government will make the changes they’ve talked about, the Act will enhance redundancy protection for pregnant workers and working parents returning to the workplace after family-related leave. The Bill will include the right to be offered a suitable alternative vacancy and to be consulted on any redundancy plans.

  1. New rights for carers. 

The Carers’ Leave Act 2024 was passed on 24th May 2023 and gives employees the right to take unpaid time off work to provide or arrange for the care of a dependant with a long-term care need. The Bill introduces a statutory entitlement of five days of unpaid leave per calendar year which will be available to eligible employees from the first day of their employment. The Act is expected to come into force in 2024 and will be a significant step forward for carers who currently have very few legal rights in the workplace.

  1. Increased pay for statutory leave. 

From 2 April 2023, the statutory rate of pay for maternity, paternity, adoption, shared parental and parental bereavement leave increased from £156.66 to £172.48 per week. This is a welcome increase for employees taking statutory leave and helps to ensure they’re not financially worse off when on leave.

  1. Update of statutory redundancy pay calculations.

New limits on employment statutory redundancy pay came into effect on the 6th of April. The result means that employers that dismiss employees for redundancy must pay those with two years’ service an amount based on the employee’s weekly pay, length of service and age. 

Informed and in the know

Whilst there are other changes to the UK’s employment laws going through Parliament, these five are important ones to be aware of. It’s in your best interest to know what they mean to make sure you know what you’re entitled to as an employee or what you need to comply with as an employer. 

If you’re unsure how the new employment law changes will affect you or your business, or if you’ve any further questions, it’s a good idea to speak to an employment law specialist. And with some of these changes impacting pay and salaries, we can help give you peace of mind when it comes to payroll.