Key law changes for 2024

As we step into 2024, we aim to keep you well-informed about the comprehensive legal changes that are set to take place this year. From energy bills to travel regulations, smoking to vaping, and work-related reforms, we present a comprehensive overview of the significant updates that demand your attention in the year ahead.

Energy bills

Commencing January 1, 2024, energy bills witness a 5% increase in the regulator’s price cap, translating to an average annual bill of £1,928 for a typical dual fuel household. Ofgem cautions of an additional £16 rise in April 2024, making it crucial for households to promptly submit meter readings for accurate billing.

Travel rule changes

Passengers in the UK will be allowed to carry up to two litres of liquids in their hand luggage, pending the completion of nationwide upgrades to airport security scanners by June 2024. Additionally, UK holidaymakers bound for EU nations must obtain a new travel permit, incurring a fee of approximately seven euros, aimed at fortifying security and border enforcement.

Tourist taxes

In 2024, popular destinations like Venice, Paris, Amsterdam, and Valencia are implementing or increasing tourist taxes. Venice introduces a €5 entrance fee for day visitors, while other cities adjust existing taxes to manage the tourism influx and support local infrastructure.

DWP sickness rule change

Pilot schemes launching in 2024 will address long-term illness among benefit claimants. Employers, job centres, healthcare professionals, and charities will collaborate to offer a range of support services, from medical treatment to mental health support, with the goal of reducing long-term sickness-related absences.

Smoking regulations

Anticipated changes in smoking regulations aim to gradually raise the minimum age for purchasing cigarettes each year, with the ultimate goal of phasing out smoking by young people by 2040.

XL Bully breed ban

As of December 31, 2023, it is illegal to breed, sell, or rehome XL Bully dogs in England and Wales. Owners must keep these dogs on a lead or muzzle to enhance community safety.

Tips allocation

Effective July 1, the Employment (Allocation of Tips) Act 2023 prevents businesses from withholding service charges from employees, ensuring fair distribution of tips among staff.

Visa law changes

In spring, social care workers’ visas will no longer allow partners and children, and a minimum income requirement of £29,000 for skilled workers will be enforced. Additionally, individuals seeking to bring a partner to the UK will also need to meet this income requirement.

Clampdown on vaping

For 2024, the government aims to introduce measures to curb vaping among children, including restrictions on sales, flavours, and descriptions of e-cigarettes. A new tax on vaping is also expected in the March budget, potentially increasing the cost of the habit by at least 25%. There are even plans for a complete ban on disposable vapes.

Spiking laws

Under the Criminal Justice Bill, spiking is clarified as unequivocally illegal, with separate guidance to provide a clear definition of spiking. The government is intensifying efforts to address and penalise spiking activities.

Protection from redundancy during pregnancy

Starting in April, workers who are pregnant or on maternity, adoption, or shared parental leave will be prioritised for redeployment if facing redundancy, ensuring their right to be offered a suitable alternative role.

New electric car rules for manufacturers

In 2024, new minimum targets for car manufacturers will come into effect under the zero-emission vehicle (ZEV) mandate, requiring 22% of vehicles sold to be zero emission. This mandate will gradually increase, reaching 100% by 2035.

Fuel duty freeze could end

The freeze on fuel duty, in place since January 2011, may end in March. The basic rate on diesel and petrol has been 52.95 pence per litre, and any changes will be revealed in the March 6 budget.

DVSA eyesight test changes

Proposed changes to the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) eyesight test aim to provide more flexibility, allowing the test to be conducted in any level of light. The DVSA will engage with the DVLA’s Medical Panel to ensure that new procedures meet current standards.


The DVSA pledges support for the implementation of regulations for e-scooters in 2024. Trials of electric scooters, extended due to their popularity, are set to conclude on May 31, 2024.


New rules around pictures being taken at garages during MOTs are being implemented by the DVSA to crack down on fraud. This includes recording photos of vehicles during tests to identify and address deliberate and fraudulent behaviours compromising the MOT.

New rules on harassment

The Workers Protection (Amendments of Equality Act 2010) Act 2023, effective October 2024, holds employers responsible for protecting workers from harassment in the workplace. It establishes a new offense of intentional harassment, alarm, or distress based on sex, applying when someone engages in threatening, abusive, or intentional behaviour targeting an individual due to their sex or perceived sex.

New forms of family leave

The Carer’s Leave Act 2023 introduces a new entitlement to one week’s unpaid leave each year for employees providing or arranging care for a dependant. The Neonatal Care (Leave and Pay) Act 2023 introduces statutory paid leave for eligible employed parents with newborns admitted to neonatal care, offering 12 weeks paid leave in addition to other relevant leave entitlements.

Employment changes

From April 1, the minimum wage for individuals aged 21 and over will rise to £11.44 per hour, marking an almost 10% increase. This extension of the national living wage benefits individuals aged 21 and 22. For a full list of employment law changes during 2024, read our related article here.

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