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Carer's Leave Act 2023
- AuthorDaniel Crook
This new Act makes provision about an employee’s entitlement to unpaid leave should they have caring responsibilities. The Act received Royal Assent on 24 May 2023
The Act introduces a statutory entitlement to grant employees, who are providing or arranging care, up to five days unpaid leave per calendar year.
In addition, provision, has been made to grant time off work in emergencies. This may be an accident at home, or a breakdown in family care arrangements. While some employers voluntarily give some paid dependents' leave already, employers are not legally required to pay dependents' leave.
It has been recognised that millions of people in the UK have caring responsibilities resulting in them having to juggle their unpaid with paid employment. This balancing act can be a real struggle, ultimately, impacting upon their own health and well-being. Parliament resolved that they needed more support to ensure they can remain productively in work.
The Act will help support unpaid carers to remain in work alongside their unpaid caring responsibilities. By reference to the current cost of living crisis, this has come at a good time.
Evidence was considered, asserting that providing a right to Carer’s Leave supported both retention and recruitment of employees, as well as helping the health and wellbeing of those employees with caring responsibilities.
The Act is intended to:
- Give rights to at least 2 million employees who are carers.
- Encourage employers to think about their employees with caring responsibilities, and, create carer-related policies perhaps for the first time.
- Some employers may go further than the legislation requires by introducing paid Carer’s Leave, to help them be more competitive when recruiting new staff members.
- Having a supportive employer, allied with the ability to take time off work to provide care, may help mitigate pressures the carers face, whilst demonstrating that employers recognise and value those carers amongst their staff.
If this Act has implications for you or your family, whether an employee or employer feel free to contact one of our employment law solicitors in Kent at our offices in Ashford, Cranbrook or Hythe today by calling 01233 665544 or fill in our enquiry form on the right hand side of the page to request a call back.