Employers in Worcestershire must be aware of the legal changes to workplace policies.

Leading employment lawyer, Sally Morris from mfg Solicitors, is urging businesses to prepare for forthcoming changes that will reshape workplace rules and remunerations, leading to additional rights for workers.

The changes begin from 1 April.

Ms Morris explained that while the changes are beneficial for employees, it is critical that companies stay "one step ahead" to ensure proper compliance.

She said: "These government changes are significant as they will require businesses and HR teams to be prepared for a change in workplace policies, while ensuring their paperwork, templates, handbooks and other literature is amended in time and in-line with the new rules."

The changes include an increase to the national minimum wage from April 1 2024; over-21s will see a 9.8 per cent raise in hourly pay to £11.44, 18-20-year-olds will earn £8.60, a 14.8 per cent increase, and 16 and 17-year-olds and apprentices will experience a 21.2 per cent rise to £6.40.

In addition, changes regarding holiday calculation for workers with irregular hours or contracted only for a part of the year will be made.

Statutory sick pay for all staff will witness a rise from £109.40 to £116.75 per week from April 6.

From this date, employees caring for a dependent will also have the ability to take one week's unpaid leave within each rolling 12-month period, and the Paternity Leave Amendment Regulations 2024 Act will come into force.

The law permits fathers or partners to split their paternity leave into two separate week-long breaks during the first year.

It includes giving only 28 days' notice, compared to the former 15 weeks.

From April 7, statutory maternity pay, paternity pay, adoption pay, shared parental pay, parental bereavement pay and maternity allowance will all see an increase from £172.48 to £184.03 per week.

Ms Morris warns employers to familiarize themselves with the new rules and their implications, adding, "Companies and HR teams need to stay one step ahead so they can advise employees properly and protect themselves."

For more guidance on these changes, Sally Morris can be reached via email at sally.morris@mfgsolicitors.com.