New business laws and regulations for 2024

As we enter 2024, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the UK must stay ahead of the curve regarding new business laws and regulations. This year, we see significant changes across various environmental, social, and governance (ESG) aspects. Comprehending these new laws isn't only about complying with legal requirements, it is mostly about seizing opportunities for business growth and sustainability. In this article, we take time to consider the most important laws and regulations for small and medium enterprises in the UK, that come into effect in 2024.

Sustainability Disclosure Standards in 2024

A significant update comes in the form of the UK's Sustainability Disclosure Standards, set to roll out in July 2024. This change underscores the increasing importance of transparency in sustainability practices. It's more than just a regulatory requirement; it's a chance for SMEs to demonstrate their commitment to sustainable business practices, thereby attracting more conscious customers and investors.

In addition to the UK's Sustainability Disclosure Standards, there are laws directly applicable to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the UK. Below is an overview - categorised by ESG topic:

Environmentally-related Laws

Commercial Property Law: In 2024, the focus will be on eco-friendly and sustainable office spaces. Landlords and tenants are expected to collaborate more on achieving sustainability goals, leading to an increase in green leases. This is a crucial time for businesses to consider their real estate strategies in line with environmental considerations.

Regulations Affecting the Social Aspects of a Business

  1. Protection from Redundancy (Pregnancy and Family Leave) Act (April 2024): This act expands employment protections for pregnant women and parents returning from family-related leave, ensuring equal treatment in the workplace.
  2. Workers’ Right to Request Predictable Working Pattern (September 2024): This legislation enables workers, including agency staff, to request fixed working hours, providing more stability in employment terms.
  3. Duty to Prevent Sexual Harassment (October 2024): Employers will be held accountable for preventing sexual harassment in the workplace, including harassment from third parties.
  4. Carer's Leave (April 2024): Employees with long-term dependants are entitled to one week of unpaid leave per year from the start of their employment.
  5. Flexible Working Changes (April 2024): Employers will have a shorter timeframe to decide on flexible working arrangements, which employees can request from their first day of work.

Laws Influencing Business Governance

  1. Changes to UK Company Law (Early 2024): The Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Act introduces changes to prevent fraud and organised crime, including stronger checks on company information and names.
  2. Increase to Companies House Fees (Early 2024): A fee increase at Companies House is expected, aimed at covering the costs of enhanced services.
  3. National Living Wage and Minimum Wage Increase (April 2024): The National Living Wage is set to rise, along with changes to the National Minimum Wage for different age groups, ensuring fair compensation for workers.

At Eevery, we understand the complexities SMEs face with these evolving laws and regulations. Our platform simplifies this landscape, offering a clear overview of ESG laws and acting as a guide for SMEs. We align ESG measurement with these changes, providing entrepreneurs with peace of mind and clarity. Stay informed about the upcoming ESG laws and regulations for SMEs - subscribe now for the latest updates.


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