A breakdown of the new changes in employment law

Explore our handy guide and find out how the new employment laws impact you 
6 April 2024 
A female costume designer is in a bare, white-brick studio with a rack of clothes hanging behind them. A female model is being fitted with a white over-sized jumper and skirt.
Helen Foster is the Social Wellbeing Specialist at the Film and TV Charity

We know the detrimental impact that long unsociable working hours can have on carers and parents in the industry, especially in combination with the other challenges they often face.

So, as there are three key pieces of UK legislation coming into force this month which could benefit employees working in the film, TV, and cinema industry, our Wellbeing Advisor, Helen Foster has pulled together some key points to share with you.

You can access more detailed financial guidance through our financial support service.

Employment Rights Act 2023

This means that millions of UK workers will have more flexibility over where, when, and how they work. Under the new regulations, employees will be entitled to request permanent flexible working arrangements from the first day of their employment (rather than after 26 consecutive weeks). The law applies only to employees, not the self-employed or subcontractors.

If you are an employee, you are now entitled make a request twice in in a 12-month period (instead of once, as it was previously). This includes requests for part-time, term-time, flexitime, compressed hours, and varied working locations. You can find helpful guidance, advice and templates on Acas’s website.

Carer’s Leave Act 2023 

This will provide much needed employment rights for people who juggle unpaid caring responsibilities, with paid employment. It makes provision for an annual week’s unpaid leave for employees with caring responsibilities – to be taken in half or full days, or in block of a week. The ability to make a request is a day one right for employees and applies to anyone caring for a dependant with a long-term care need (e.g. a spouse, civil partner, child or relative who needs care because of a disability, old age, illness or injury).

Protection from Redundancy (Pregnancy and Family Leave) Act 2023 

Under current law, employees on maternity leave, shared parental leave or adoption leave already have special protection in a redundancy situation. From April this now provides redundancy protection during pregnancy, starting when the employee tells their employer they are pregnant. It also extends to those who have recently returned from maternity, adoption leave or shared parental leave.

None of these new laws will impact freelancers who are not classed as employees in the industry, where often their only option for seeking better working hours is to find a job share role. However, it sets a precedent to improve the working conditions and the rights of those on short term contracts.

Timewise and Bectu Vision’s feasibility study, which was supported by the Film and TV Charity, revealed that reduced working hours in our industry can work, would improve retention, and reduce burnout for workers across the industry.

Casual dressed man wearing glasses is sat in a coffee shop. He is making notes in a pad that he is holding.

Financial support

You can access more detailed financial guidance through our financial support service.

Advice and support for carers and parents

If you need further advice and support if you are a carer or parent, here are some helpful links:

Please note: this article/​post/​blog does not constitute legal advice and you should seek your own independent legal advice if these matters impact you or you are unsure of your rights.

You can also get in touch via our free 24-hour Support Line for further advice.