Three enhancements to family-friendly rights to take effect in April

Regulations have recently been published which confirm that new rights for carers and new parents will take effect on 6 April next year, subject to Parliamentary approval. Regulations have also been passed which remove the qualifying period for the right to request flexible working arrangements with effect from that date –  sooner than previously anticipated.

Flexible working

The Flexible Working (Amendment) Regulations 2023 remove the 26 week qualifying period that needs to be served before employers are entitled to make a request for flexible working arrangements. This change – which has long been anticipated – will apply to requests made on or after 6 April 2024. 

It is likely that the other enhancements to flexible working rights – which are set out in provisions in the Flexible Working Act 2023 which have not yet been brought into force – will take effect from the same date. Previously the Government had signaled that these new rights would take effect slightly later in 2024. See our previous blog here for more details.

Enhanced redundancy rights for new parents

Currently new parents on statutory leave enjoy additional protections against being made redundant which do not apply to other employees. As from 6 April new regulations will extend these rights so that (broadly speaking) new mothers will be protected from the point they tell their employer they are pregnant until six months after their return from maternity leave.  Equivalent rights will be extended to parents on other types of statutory leave

Carer’s leave

Regulations have now been published which, once approved by Parliament, will give all employees a new right to take up to a week’s unpaid leave each year to care for a dependant with a long-term care need. Again, these new rights will take effect on 6 April.

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