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Hello there! Philip Pearson-Batt here with my first blog of 2024. Boy does it seem ages since I last did a blog! How have you been? Lots happening, I hope you’re ok!

I hope you had a lovely Christmas and New Year. Whilst I managed to enjoy Christmas Day itself, I came down with Covid on Boxing Day and felt sorry for myself over the course of the next few weeks.

BUT! I’m finally starting to feel better and this weekend just gone I celebrated with a trip to see ABBA Voyage. Yes, you can truly call me a dancing queen!

For those not in the know, ABBA Voyage is a “virtual” concert by, you guessed it, ABBA. There’s a live band and then Agneta, Anni-Frid, Benny & Bjorn are all holograms. So, I knew they weren’t really there and yet… there were times where I questioned whether it wasn’t actually the real ABBA on stage. I had forgotten quite how many brilliant songs they had. What I’m saying is it was 10/10, would highly recommend.

Knowing me, knowing you though, you’re probably saying, Philip, gimme gimme gimme some employment law & HR updates. Lay all your super trouper knowledge on me. Well, chiquitita, I’ll put my money, money, money where my mouth is and breakdown yet more upcoming changes for 2024.

Way back last summer, I did a little video – you’ll remember, I was dressed up as a “builder” working on my decking – and I briefly mentioned some planned changes to paternity leave.

Well, the government has gotten round to publishing some draft legislation to implement these very changes. This comes in the form of the Paternity Leave (Amendment) Regulations 2024.

When all is said and done, the proposed changes match what we were expecting really. In particular, the regulations make the following changes:

  • The current provisions only allow employees to take one week in total or two consecutive weeks. Moving forwards, employees will be able to take their two-week paternity leave entitlement as two separate one-week blocks.
  • Again, the current provisions state that employees must take their paternity leave within the 56 days following the birth of the child. Under the new regulations they’ll be able take paternity leave at any time in the 52 weeks following birth.
  • The regulations also reduce the amount of notice required to take paternity leave. Currently, notice needs to be given 15 weeks before the expected week of childbirth but under the new regulations only 28 days notice will need to be given.

You can see, can’t you, that the name of the game with these changes is to expand the current paternity provisions to make things slightly easier for new parents.

The regulations will apply to all cases where the expected week of childbirth is on or after 6 April 2024. That date might sound familiar and it’s because these changes are due to take effect at precisely the same time as the other family-friendly related changes that are coming in. We’ve covered this extensively here but in summary we’ve got Carers Leave coming in, changes to flexible working and the extension of redundancy protections to those on family friendly leave.

Now might be a good time to start thinking about updating your internal policies so they’re fully compliant with the new statutory regime.

Whew. The changes just go on and on and on don’t they? You might be thinking SOS. But don’t worry you’ll be saying Precept, thank you for the knowledge in a matter of minutes if you sign up to our VIP list CLICK HERE.

We’ll bring you regular updates on all these changes so that nothing slips through your fingers. So, take a chance on us and you’ll be saying “mamma mia! I’m so up to date!”.

And there ends the ABBA puns.