Employment law changes expected in 2024….and beyond - MLP Law

Employment law changes expected in 2024….and beyond

  • Employment Law
  • 29th Apr 2024

Let’s have a look at the expected and anticipated employment law changes for the rest of 2024: TUPE Changes For TUPE transfers taking place from 1st July 2024, employers will be able to directly consult with employees if they have fewer than 50 employees or if fewer than 10 employees are transferring. This means that […]

By Gareth Matthews

a newspaper with the title "Expected changes in 2024"

Let’s have a look at the expected and anticipated employment law changes for the rest of 2024:

  1. TUPE Changes

For TUPE transfers taking place from 1st July 2024, employers will be able to directly consult with employees if they have fewer than 50 employees or if fewer than 10 employees are transferring.

This means that only businesses will only need to elect, and consult with, employee representatives if they have 50 or employees AND 10 or more employees are transferring.

Currently, the ability to consult directly with employees only applies to ‘micro businesses’ i.e. those with 10 employees or fewer, regardless of how many are transferring.

  1. Code of Practice on Dismissal and Re-engagement – SUMMER 2024

In January 2024, the Government published a statutory code of practice covering the use of the so-called ‘fire and rehire’ to changing employees’ contract of employment. It is expected that this code will come into force at some point over the summer of 2024, although Labour has stated that it intends to ban fire and rehire outright if it comes into power.

The code will apply when an employer is considering making changes to any of its employees’ contracts and the employer envisages that, if agreement cannot be reached, it might opt to dismiss and offer re-engagement on new terms. The code will not apply in situations where an employer is contemplating dismissing employees by reason of redundancy.

The code includes things such as:

  • a requirement to explore alternatives to dismissal and to engage in meaningful and transparent consultation;
  • using dismissal and re-engagement only as a last resort; and
  • a requirement to consult with trade unions or employee representatives.

Failure to follow the code will not enable employees to bring standalone claims, but relevant parts of the code must be taken into account by the Tribunal in reaching decisions and the Employment Tribunal can increase certain awards by up to 25% if an employer unreasonably fails to follow the code.

  1. Right to request predictable working patterns – expected from September 2024

The Workers (Predictable Terms and Conditions) Act 2023 was passed in September 2023, with the purpose of introducing a new statutory right for workers to request a more predictable working pattern.

We still await full details of what will be included in the Regulations which give effect to the Act, but we know the following will be covered: e

  • workers will have the right to request predictability in their work pattern relating to the number of hours worked, their working days and times, and the length of their contract;
  • workers may make two applications in any 12-month period;
  • employers must deal with requests reasonably and provide the worker with their decision within a month;
  • if they grant the request, the new terms must be offered within two weeks; and
  • if the request is refused this must be for one of the specified grounds in the Act, such as the burden of additional costs.

Any worker who has “a lack of predictability” in their work pattern will have the right to make this request.

The most obvious arrangement captured are zero hours contracts, but arguably contractual arrangements with specific core hours of work which can be varied could be caught too.

Importantly, there is a built-in assumption in the Act that fixed term contracts of 12 months or less lack predictability.

The qualifying period for this right is likely to be 26 weeks’ service, and these are unlikely to be continuous given the nature of the Act.

ACAS is currently consulting on a draft Code of Practice to provide guidance on how to make and handle requests for more predictable working patterns and consultation on the draft Code is open until 17 January 2024.

  1. Worker Protection (Amendment of Equality Act 2010) Act 2023 – 26th October 2024 

This new Act creates a duty on employers to take ‘reasonable steps’ to prevent sexual harassment of employees in the course of their employment.

It was originally proposed that this Act would include a duty on employers to ‘take all reasonable steps’ to prevent sexual harassment of employees in the course of their employment. However, significant amendments were made, including to reduce the obligations on employers to prevent harassment from taking ‘all reasonable steps’ to taking ‘reasonable steps’ only.

Another original proposal was to introduce employer liability for third party harassment of employees in the course of employment, but again this has been removed.

The Act provides that any compensation awarded for harassment by an employer, involving sexual harassment, may be increased by up to 25% if the employer has failed in its duty to take reasonable steps to prevent harassment.

  1. Neonatal leave and pay – April 2025

Under the Neonatal Care (Leave and Pay) Act 2023, eligible employees whose new-born baby is admitted to neo-natal care will be able to take up to 12 weeks additional paid leave.


The expected employment law changes for the rest of 2024 address key areas like consultation rights in TUPE transfers, the Code of Practice on Dismissal and Re-engagement, predictable working patterns, and measures to prevent sexual harassment. These developments highlight ongoing efforts to strengthen worker protections and promote fairness in the workplace. At mlplaw, we’ll keep you informed about these changes and are here to assist with any questions you have regarding employment law. Feel free to reach out to us at employment@mlplaw.co.uk or by phone at 0161 9269969.

About the expert

Gareth Matthews

Partner - Employment

Gareth is a Partner in MLP Law’s Employment team and for over 10 years has specialised in employment law, primarily advising businesses and senior individuals. Gareth has significant litigation experience, including experience as an advocate in the Employment Tribunal. Gareth also has considerable experience in advising on the employment issues in corporate mergers and acquisition, including the complexities which arise in TUPE transfers. Gareth’s sector experience is wide ranging, encompassing advice to clients in the hospitality, retail, construction, healthcare, recruitment and manufacturing industries. Gareth provides training to clients and organisations on a variety of key employment topics, such as absence management, disciplinary and grievance processes and employment law updates. Gareth also acts as a guest lecturer in employment law at Liverpool Hope University. Gareth has been described by Legal 500 as someone who is ‘very reassuring and does a great job’ and was named Legal Personality of the Year by Downtown in Business. Gareth has also been quoted as an employment law expert in the Manchester Evening News and The Times and is known for his pragmatic and commercial advice, as well as his ability to quickly understand his clients’ business objectives and tailor his advice accordingly. Prior to joining MLP Law, Gareth spent a number of years working in the employment teams at two international law firms in Manchester. Away from work Gareth is a passionate cricket and football fan and enjoys discovering new music. Gareth is also a keen traveller but has had to put his plans to become fluent in a foreign language on hold in favour of spending time with family, particularly his two young sons of whom he is incredibly proud.

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