Insights

Nighat Sahi

Published 19 January 2024
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New Carer’s Leave Regulations

The Carer’s Leave Act 2023 is due to come into effect on 6 April 2024. The details of the new provisions were published in December and draft regulations have gone before Parliament. The draft regulations set out details of how the new regime will work but they still need to be approved and adopted by Parliament. It is expected that when they are approved, further guidance will also be published by Parliament.

The new provisions

The Carer’s Leave Act received royal assent on 24 May 2023. The current regulations are designed to bring the Act into force. In turn, the Act inserts new provisions into the Employment Rights Act 1996. The new provisions can be summarised as:

  • Carer’s leave will be available to eligible employees from the first day of their employment.
  • Employees will be able to take the leave flexibly to suit their caring responsibilities. Employees will be able to take the leave as half or full days, up to and including taking a block of a whole week of leave at once.
  • The one week of carer’s leave is to be taken within a 12-month rolling period.
  • Employees will not be required to provide evidence of how the leave is used or who it will be used for.
  • Employees taking their carer’s leave entitlement will be protected from dismissal or any detriment as a result of having taken time off.
  • The right applies to employees who have a dependant with a long-term care need and those who want to be absent from work to provide or arrange care for that dependant.

Procedural Requirements

The employee must give the appropriate notice before taking leave. The notice period is twice as many days as the period of leave required, or three days (whichever is longer), in advance of the earliest day of the leave. The notice does not need to be in writing.

There is also a process whereby an employer can postpone a period of carer’s leave, where this would unduly disrupt the operation of their business.

We’ll update you as soon as the regulations are approved but, in the meantime, employers need to prepare for the changes in advance of the April deadline. If you think this may affect you as an employer or employee, please contact Nighat Sahi at: nighat@rswlaw.co.uk

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