The new Carer’s Leave Act 2023 received Royal Assent in May 2023 and will come into force across the UK (excluding Northern Ireland) in 2024.
What does this mean for you?
- If you care (unpaid) for a loved one or friend and work, you will be entitled to a statutory flexible one week of unpaid leave per year. This can be taken as either half or full days.
- The new entitlement will be available to all employees regardless of how long they have been working for a company.
- Under the new bill, carers would not need to provide evidence when requesting the leave. It also ensures that carers will fall under the same employment protections as other family-related leave, meaning they cannot be dismissed for taking the leave.
How does this affect me as an employer?
- The new Carer’s Leave Act will also change how employers support their employees with caring responsibilities.
- It is estimated that the new legislation will help as many as two million people in the UK who are currently balancing their caring responsibilities alongside work. Many carers currently have to use other forms of leave or even reduce their hours to provide care and attend appointments, for example.
- The Carer’s Leave Act will give employees the right to one week’s unpaid leave per year, with the choice of taking the time flexibly in either full or half days.
To help employers to prepare for the new law, Carers UK has produced a set of resources, including training sessions and webinars.
If you would like to read more about The Carer’s Leave Act, the Carers UK website has a great overview.