2024 New Legislation Overview

6 February, 2024

This year indicates a wave of fresh legislations alongside emerging trends and challenges that the hospitality sector needs to be prepared for. Below are some key dates and changes that operators need to be mindful of in the coming months:

Employment – Tipping and National Minimum Wage

  • A new law slated for enforcement in May 2024 mandates employers to equitably distribute all tips, gratuities, and service charges to staff without deductions, with additional guidance forthcoming.
  • On 1st April 2024, the National Minimum Wage for adults will rise from £10.42 to £11.44. Employers are advised to promptly adjust budgeted costs to accommodate this wage increase.

Regulatory Updates

  • Martyn's Law, aimed at bolstering counter-terrorism measures in public spaces, is progressing but is not expected to take effect until 2026/2027.
  • The Transition Plan Taskforce has issued voluntary sector guidance for carbon reduction planning, expected to become a legal obligation for listed companies in 2024.

Data Protection

  • The Data Protection and Digital Information Bill is anticipated to gain Royal Assent in 2024, potentially leading to relaxed regulations concerning data protection in low-risk scenarios, which are prevalent in various aspects of the hospitality industry.
  • The conclusion of the EU's AI Act and the forthcoming UK AI Regulation Bill signify increased oversight on the use of AI, primarily impacting developers and vendors of AI systems. Businesses, including those in the out-of-home sector, should ensure AI deployment aligns with these evolving laws.

Real Estate

  • With recent amendments to MEES regulations mandating enhanced building energy efficiency, sustainability emerges as a critical concern for major operators. In 2024, expect growth in this realm with increased adoption of eco-friendly provisions in leases.
  • Landlords are asserting greater control over alterations and material choices, driven partly by consumer demand for local sourcing, waste reduction, and energy-efficient infrastructure.

Tech Innovations

  • Tech-driven innovations, gaining traction since 2023, are set to expand further in 2024. From everyday food and beverage concepts to the integration of chatbots in online booking systems, technological advancements promise operational efficiencies and staff cost savings for operators.

Source: Ooh Magazine UK

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