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Key Employment Law Changes - Household Staff

  • Publish Date: Posted 4 months ago

There are several important changes to employment law in 2024. Some will affect private households more than others. If you are managing household staff and the following scenarios apply to your household, this is an important update:

·Where you have ‘irregular hours workers’ – i.e. whose contracted paid hours of work are wholly or mainly variable. This can be private chefs or chauffeurs where they are contracted to work on an ‘as needed’ basis;

·If you have a ‘part-year workers’ ie. those who are contracted to work part of the year with periods of at least a week where they are not required to work and are not paid. In a household, these workers might be the ‘one-on, one-off’ type of workers, i.e. nannies or close-protection;

·If your processes do not encourage staff to take their leave in the current leave year, and they are not warned of the consequences.

·If you have been reluctant to provide workers with certainty over working hours and your contracts simply state – ‘hours of work: [40] hours per week” – i.e. for roles such as private chefs or chauffeurs.

This is how the new changes to employment law in 2024 may affect you:

Irregular hours and part-year workers:

1. Holiday accrual methods will change. The new accrual method is calculated as 12.07% of hours worked in a certain pay period ie. per month. You will no longer be able to simply calculate their holiday entitlement as 5.6 weeks’ pa.This will apply to holiday years beginning on or after 1 April 2024.

2. You can also pay them for their leave in the form of ‘rolled up holiday pay’ (providing holiday pay at the same time as basic pay) where it is calculated on the basis of 12.07% of all pay for work done in a pay period, paid at the same time as the worker is paid for the work done and itemised separately on the worker’s payslip. This will also apply to holiday years beginning on or after 1 April 2024. Moving to this method will require contractual changes and therefore a process must be followed.

All workers:

3. From January 2024, if staff are not given sufficient notice and opportunity to use their holiday entitlement by the end of the year, staff will be able to carry over up to 4 weeks’ leave, to the following year. This may pose quite a challenge when you are coordinating staffing needs around the family's schedule.

4. Starting around September 2024, employees will gain the right to request a more predictable work pattern if their current contract lacks clarity on hours, days, or duration. Employees can bring a claim to an employment tribunal if their request is not handled reasonably or where due process is not followed. Detailed regulations are pending.

Next steps:

1. Assess your workforce - identify those affected by the new rules.

2. Look at your contracts – they may need updating. You will need to follow due process to make contractual changes.

3. Review your household handbook to bring policies in line with the raft of new changes. Policies to be reviewed/drafted include holiday policy, right to request predictable work patterns, flexible working, family leave provisions, new carer’s leave and new duty to prevent sexual harassment in the workplace.

Due to the upcoming reforms and changes to employment law in 2024, employers can expect an uptick in requests, leading to higher administrative burdens and associated risks. To assist you we are pleased to be able to offer:

-Household HR training on the new rights, processes and the risks involved in failing to address the new rules – we can place you on the list for the next forum.

-A complementary 30-minute review of your existing relevant contract or Handbook or a 30 - minute call on any employment matter relating to your household staff.

This guest blog was brought to you by Sofia Syed, a specialist employment and reputation management lawyer and founding partner at MEUM.

MEUM is a multi-disciplinary advisory platform that provides trusted legal, investment and lifestyle advice to its wealth of high-net-worth clients. At Greycoat Lumleys we are proud to partner with this exceptional platform.

Whether you require childcare, housekeeping, a personal assistant or any other type of household staff we have a wide selection of highly qualified candidates. With over 25 years of experience in domestic staffing recruitment we have established ourselves as the premier domestic staffing agency with unrivaled industry knowledge and an international reach. We are here to supply our clients with the very best household and domestic staffing solutions specially tailored to their needs.

If you are looking for a new addition to your household staff then get in touch with our expert team of consultants. They will be able to match you with the most sought-after candidates that are the perfect fit for the role.