This page includes the following topics:

  • Flexible Working
  • Statutory Carer's Leave
  • Paternity Leave
  • Calculating Holiday Pay
  • Extended redundancy protection for pregnancy and family leave

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Flexible Working

As of the 6th of April 2024, currently the law states that an employee has to have worked for their employer for 26 weeks or more to make a flexible working request. However, as from 6th April, this is changing to a day one right for employees.

There is the possibility that other reforms to the flexible working requests will also come into force as the same time, namely the ability to make up to two requests per year, rather than one, and the requirement for employers to respond within two months rather then 3.

Flexible working | Acas

Statutory Carer's Leave

As of the 6th April 2024, employees who qualify for statutory carer’s leave will be afforded the right to it from day one of employment. Eligible employees will be able to take a maximum of one week of unpaid carer leave per year, however contracts/ policies may state that carer leave is paid.

A week means the length of time an employee usually works over 7 days, which can be taken as a whole block, individual days or half days spread out throughout the year.

This applies to employees who care for a dependent who has: 

  • A physical or mental illness or injury that means they’re expected to need care for more than 3 months.
  • A disability as defined in the Equality Act 2010
  • Care needs because of old age.

Unpaid carer’s leave - GOV.UK (

Paternity Leave

As of the 6th of April 2024, eligible employees will be able to: -

  • Take their two-week paternity leave entitlement as two separate one-week blocks, rather than having to take just one week in total or two consecutive weeks.
  • Take their paternity leave at any time in the 52 weeks after birth, rather than having to take the leave in the 56 days following birth.
  • Give their employer 28 days’ notice of their intention to take paternity leave, this has been reduced from the previous required notice having to be given 15 weeks before the expected week of childbirth.

The above applies to cases where the expected week of childbirth is on or after 6th April 2024.

Changes to statutory paternity leave and pay regulations | NHS Employers

Calculating Holiday Pay and Leave

Holiday entitlement

For leave years starting on or after 1 April 2024, these workers' holiday will be calculated in hours rather than weeks and will accrue on the last day of each pay period, at the rate of 12.07% of the actual hours worked in that pay period.

This is because 5.6 is 12.07% of 46.4 (where 5.6 is the number of weeks' annual leave entitlement and 52 - 5.6 = 46.4 which is the number of working weeks in the year). 

Holiday pay

Employers will be able to choose from two systems for paying holiday pay.

  • They can pay holiday pay when holiday is taken, calculated at the rate of a week's pay for each week's holiday. A week's pay will, broadly speaking, be the average amount of weekly pay over the previous 52 weeks, including the additional elements set out in the modified definition of a week's pay below. A week's holiday will consist of the average number of hours worked in each week of the same period. This should, in effect, produce an hourly rate of holiday pay that reflects the average hourly rate of pay over the last year.
    • Payments, including commission payments, intrinsically linked to the performance of tasks which a worker is obliged under their contract to carry out.
    • Payments for professional or personal status relating to length of service, seniority, or professional qualifications.
    • Payments, such as overtime payments, which have been regularly paid to a worker in the 52 weeks preceding the calculation date.
  • Alternatively, they may choose to pay rolled-up holiday pay.  Rolled-up holiday pay is unlawful under retained EU law, but the REUL Act allows the UK government to legislate to override this principle. Rolled up holiday pay will be an uplift of 12.07% to the worker's remuneration for work done in each pay period. This is therefore a slightly different, and simpler, calculation than if holiday pay were being paid at the time holiday is taken. Such workers must be allowed to take their holiday but will not be paid at the time they take it. There will be a 52-week averaging system to calculate rolled-up holiday pay for workers who are on sick leave or statutory leave.

Typically, based on annual leave entitlement of 5.6 weeks a year, an employer would calculate rolled-up holiday pay as an additional 12.07% on top of the hourly wage. This is because 5.6 is 12.07% of 46.4 (where 5.6 is the number of weeks' annual leave entitlement and 52 - 5.6 = 46.4 which is the number of working weeks in the year). 


The government is also taking this opportunity to restate and confirm in law the effect of a series of court decisions which set out the right for workers to carry over holiday from one leave year to the next in various situations.

Workers will have a right to carry over if any of the following apply:

  • Where they are unable to take some or all their leave as a result of taking a period of statutory leave (which includes maternity leave and other family-related leave).
  • Where in any leave year, the employer fails to:
    • Recognise a worker's right to annual leave or paid annual leave.
    • Give the worker a reasonable opportunity to take leave or encourage them to do so.
    • Inform the worker that leave not taken by the end of the leave year will be lost.

In such cases, the right to take the carried-over leave will last until the end of the first full leave year in which there is no such failure by the employer.

Workers will also have a right to carry over if any of the following apply:

  • Where they are unable to take some or all their leave as a result of taking a period of sick leave. The carried over leave must be taken within 18 months of the leave year to which it relates.

Holiday pay and entitlement reforms from 1 January 2024 - GOV.UK (

Extended redundancy protection for pregnancy and family leave

Currently those on maternity leave, adoption leave and shared parental leave benefit from enhanced protection against redundancy in that if they are at risk of redundancy, they should be offered a suitable available vacancy in preference to any other individual.

Draft Regulations have now been published which are intended to be introduced on 6th  April 2024 extending this protection beyond just the period of family leave to the period from the beginning of pregnancy up to 18 months from the expected date of birth/adoption placement date.

New law - 6 April 2024 | Employment Law | Freeths