Employment and Incentives Legal Outlook 2024

Our Employment and Incentives Legal Outlook unwraps the key developments and themes for 2024. With the year already shaping up to be a landmark one for new employment legislation, and likely developments on board and financial sector pay, as well as ESG, there is a lot for organisations to navigate. 

So what can we expect in employment law in 2024?

2024 began with a bang as the Retained EU Law (Revocation and Reform) Act 2023 came fully into force, together with reforms to key rights under the Working Time Regulations 1998 and the Equality Act 2010. Later in the year, long-awaited new worker and family friendly rights are set to come into effect, including a new leave entitlement for carers and a right to request a more predictable contract. 

Industrial action and collective rights will remain high on the agenda with minimum service level agreements under the Strikes (Minimum Service Levels) Act 2023 being determined and a new statutory code on the use of fire and rehire entering into force.  

As the focus on strengthening workplace culture continues, we expect to see tougher laws on sexual harassment, ongoing challenges in managing expressions of belief at work, raised employee expectations on pay transparency, and further discussions around whether the existing whistleblowing framework is effective. 

Finally, we predict that one of the biggest disruptors of 2023, AI and automation, will continue to maintain a rapid pace of adoption and integration in workplaces.  

What developments are expected on remuneration and employee incentives?

Listed companies will need to continue navigating the plethora of rules and investor, proxy advisor and regulator policies and expectations on executive pay. There are continuing concerns on quantum, windfall gains, use of ESG metrics and transparency, all in the context of the ‘fairness’ agenda which has evolved since the pandemic. Companies are aware that they may face significant levels of dissent for their pay resolutions at 2024 AGMs but need to decide what is right for the company.

For organisations operating in the financial sector, there are potential pay structure changes to consider with the removal of the bankers’ bonus cap and the relaxation of some pay and disclosure rules for ’small firms‘. The regulators’ concern that firms properly factor in climate and other environmental risks into pay may also move beyond the focus on disclosure to impact on remuneration policy and structures. 

With the prospect of a general election by the end of the year, 2024 promises to be a year of change on many fronts. 

We take a deeper look in our Employment & Incentives Legal Outlook 2024 here.