HR policies and procedures in 2024: what’s new?

2024 is shaping up to be a key year for employment law. As various new legislation approaches - from new worker rights to changes to flexible working, annual leave and family-friendly protections – HR will need to consider whether to update existing workplace policies and procedures and/or implement new ones.

We highlight the key policy updates for the HR agenda over the coming year.

Area Update to existing policies? New policy? Key points and dates
 Holiday  Yes  

1 January – April 2024: Legislation has been amended to address the rules on the right to carry forward untaken annual leave and calculation of holiday pay, and to introduce a new regime for part-year and irregular hours workers.


  • Employers may wish to update existing holiday and sickness policies to reflect this.  
  • Separately, employers may wish to consider their processes for reminding or encouraging employees (including those on long-term sick leave) to take annual leave and consider whether any of their workers qualify as part-year or irregular hours workers (to whom a new annual leave regime will apply).
Request for flexible working  Yes  

6 April 2024: Widespread changes are being made to the existing statutory flexible working regime.


  • Changes regarding who qualifies for the right, frequency and content of the request, and the process for responding to and rejecting requests will need to be reflected in existing policies.  
  • In certain circumstances, a request will count towards the limit of two a year for flexible working as well as the limit of two a year for requesting a predictable work pattern (see below). Employers will need to ensure record-keeping is sufficient to record and monitor what requests are live and the number of requests made each year in respect of each right.

Carer’s leave

 Yes  Yes

6 April 2024: Carer’s leave comprises a new, day one unpaid leave entitlement of one week a year to provide or arrange care for a dependant with a long-term care need.


  • Introducing a policy setting out eligibility for the right and the process for requesting it is likely to be useful (although it is not mandatory).
  • HR should consider what steps they will take to make employees aware of the new right and prepare to deal with a potential flurry of requests at the outset.
  • Employees will not have to provide evidence. Employers may therefore wish to consider updating their disciplinary policy to cover deliberate misuse. 
 Paternity leave   Yes  

6 April 2024: Paternity leave will be able to be taken in two separate one-week blocks and at any time in the first 52 weeks after birth. The notice requirements will also change such that individuals can give 28 days' notice before each period of leave.


  • Policies should be revised to reflect the updated notice requirements and increased flexibility for how and when paternity leave can be taken. 
Extension of redundancy protection  Yes  

6 April 2024: The duration of redundancy protection will be extended and the protection will encompass other categories of employees (including pregnant employees and those who have returned from family leave).


  • Employers will need to consider whether existing family-friendly and redundancy policies need updating.
  • Employers should also consider whether their processes for recording those who are pregnant and family leave returners are adequate to avoid the risk that their priority status is overlooked.
  • Employees carrying out redundancy processes should prepare for a greater number of employees who will need to be given first refusal for suitable vacancies. In certain circumstances, employers may need to conduct a tricky selection process amongst these priority employees where numbers exceed available vacancies. This may need to be built into existing policies/ procedures. 
Allocation of tips   Yes  Yes

July 2024: Employers will be required to have and maintain a written policy on tips.


  • The policy should include how tips are accepted, allocated and distributed, and what steps the employer takes to ensure they are handled fairly and transparently.
  • The policy and any procedures should follow the Code of Practice (due to be published in final form later this year).
  • It may also be necessary to revise data protection policies to address the storing, processing and disposing of tipping records.  
Request for a more predictable working pattern    Yes

September 2024: New legislation will give workers (including agency workers) the right to request a more predictable working pattern.


  • The process for requesting a new working pattern bears a lot of similarities with the existing right request flexible working. Employers may therefor wish to model a new policy on their existing flexible working policy.
  •  Slightly different rules apply to agency workers (who can make applications to their hirer or agency) which employers may wish to reflect in a separate policy.
  • Any policies and processes should be designed in line with the Code of Practice (set to be finalised later this year). 
Duty to take reasonable steps to prevent sexual harassment   Yes  

October 2024: There will be a new legal duty for employers to take “reasonable steps” to prevent staff from sexual harassment at work which will be supported by a new statutory Code of Practice.


  • The effectiveness of existing anti-harassment and equal opportunities policies, training and complaints procedures are likely to be a relevant factor in determining whether an employer has complied with the new duty. Employers should therefore consider reviewing them to ensure they are up to date. This may involve updating policies and refreshing training to cover sexual harassment if it is not already dealt with. 

Please get in touch with your usual Linklaters contact if you require any assistance. 

Read more:

Employment & Incentives Legal Outlook 2024
Post-Brexit reform of employment laws
Law reforming flexible working receives Royal Assent
New employer duty to prevent sexual harassment
New family friendly rights on the horizon?