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Statutory Unpaid Carer's leave to come into force on 6 April 2024

on Tuesday, 19 December 2023.

The Carer's Leave Act 2023 was passed earlier this year. It introduces a new entitlement to one week's unpaid leave per year for any employee who is providing or arranging a dependent's care.

Carer's Leave Act

This Act originated as Private Members' Bill which gained the Government's support. The Act makes provision for employees with caring responsibilities to take up to one week's unpaid leave per rolling 12-month period, to provide or arrange care for their dependents. They must be providing or arranging the care on an unpaid basis to qualify for the leave.

The Act requires secondary legislation to bring the right into effect, and to provide some of the detail around how the leave is to be requested and taken.

Draft Regulations

Draft regulations have now been introduced to bring the new statutory right into effect from 6 April 2024. The regulations provide that an employee with a dependent with a long-term care need may take one week's unpaid leave in each rolling 12-month period, to provide or arrange care.

The leave can be taken in individual days or half days, up to a block of one week. The employee must give the requisite notice to take the leave: this is either twice as many days as the period of leave required, or three days, whichever is the greater. Employers will not be entitled to require evidence in relation to the request before granting the leave.

The regulations contain the right for an employer to postpone the leave in limited circumstances. However, the request cannot be rejected so if leave is postponed, the employee must be allowed to take it another time.
Employees who take, or seek to take, carer's leave will be protected from detriment and dismissal as a consequence of having done so.

We will continue to report on developments.

For more information or advice, please contact Allison Cook, in our Employment team, at 0117 314 5466 or complete the form below.


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