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For those of you who follow our weekly blogs, you’ll know that Paul & I have a trip to Italy coming up (honestly, sometimes I feel like I’m writing a travel blog! Just call me Judith Chalmers). Unfortunately, our budget airline – let’s say it rhymes with Cryin’ There – have cancelled our flight to Milan but not our flight back from Venice.

This has caused much consternation in the Pearson-Batt household. Do we try to get to Stansted for the only other flight to Milan on the same day (the £150 one-way train ticket put us off)? Do we hitchhike our way there (I was asked if I wanted a divorce)? Do we just give up and spend a week camping in our summer house (I was told I would be getting a divorce)?

Don’t worry. I’m resourceful. This sort of planning is my forte. What we will be doing is heading out to Italy a day early. Flying into Venice, getting the train to Verona, having a wild 24 hours there and then carrying on to Milan, so the rest of the trip can go ahead as planned.

So… now I am after tips for 24 hours in Verona. Obviously, we’ll be heading to Juliet’s balcony (nb I’m seeing Romeo and Juliet in London with Tom Holland aka Spiderman as Romeo) and there will be the odd plate of pasta consumed. But any other tips will be greatly appreciated.

As I look ahead to our lovely trip, I also (with my employment lawyer hat on) look ahead to those big changes coming up in employment law. Now, I appreciate Precept have kept these on your radar for a while now, but they are fast approaching and the Government have now laid down the regulations to implement these changes, which provide the level of detail we need. So let me update you.

Flexible Working

First up, the big one: changes to the statutory flexible working request regime.

I won’t bore you to death with this because we’ve covered it extensively already but do remember that from 6 April 2024 employees can make statutory flexible working requests from day 1 of their employment; they can make 2 requests every 12 months; you have to respond within 2 months and you must consult with them before refusing a flexible working request.

Don’t forget, Precept will be updating you on these changes and giving you the lowdown on how to deal with flexible working requests generally in our upcoming webinar: To book click here

Sign up now!

Carer’s Leave

Next up, carer’s leave.

From 6 April 2024 employees in England, Wales and Scotland will be entitled to up to 1 week of unpaid leave each year to provide or arrange care for a dependant who has a long-term care need.

Dependants are an employee’s spouse, civil partner, child or parent or somebody who lives in the same household as them (apart from lodgers) or somebody who reasonably relies on the employee to provide or arrange care.

Dependants will have a long-term care need if they have an illness or injury that requires (or is likely to require) care for more than three months, they are disabled for the purposes of the Equality Act 2010 or they require care for a reason connected with their old age.

Employees wanting to take carers leave will need to give their employer notice that is twice as long as they days they have requested (although employers can waive this notice requirement if they want to). Once a request has been submitted, provided it has been submitted properly, employers cannot reject the request, but they can postpone the period of leave if operations would be unduly disrupted.

The employee’s terms and conditions (other than pay) will remain the same whilst they take their period of unpaid leave, and they have the right to return to the same job after their period of leave. They are also offered protection from detriment and/or dismissal – with any dismissal related to the request or time off being deemed automatically unfair.

If you’re a Precept client, check out our document portal for a template Carer’s Leave Policy. If you’re not a client? Why not!? Now’s a good time to get signed up so you can access our document bank and make sure you’re right up to date.

Protections from redundancy

Finally, you should already be aware of the enhanced protections for employees during pregnancy and those returning to work after family-related leave. But these protections are being extended from – and here comes that magic date – 6 April 2024.

From 6 April 2024 redundancy protections will apply from:

  • The point an employee informs their employer they are pregnant;
  • Until 18 months after the expected week of childbirth, the child’s birth date or date of adoption, for employees returning from maternity leave, shared parental leave or adoption leave.

What are these “redundancy protections”? Well, during the period set out above, employees have the right to be offered suitable alternative employment in redundancy situations – they essentially get priority status ahead of other employees.

Other changes

I can’t fit every change into one blog, we’d be here all day otherwise! But just be aware that there are other changes coming up as well including:

If you want to make sure you don’t miss out on any of the content I have referenced in my blog this week, give our very own Action Man (@Mark Honeyball) a shout!