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Employment Law A-Z - Carer's Leave

View profile for Molly Mackay
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Time off for carers is soon to be a legal right, with the introduction of the Carer’s Leave Act 2023 and the subsequent Carer’s Leave Regulations 2024, due to come into force on 6 April 2024. This will entitle employees who have a dependant with a ‘long-term care need’ to take one week of unpaid leave throughout a twelve-month period. This could be taken as one week in a block or non-consecutive days or half days. 

This is a Day One right for employees; therefore, they will not need qualifying service to access this right. The employee must put their intention to take leave in writing, giving at least twice the amount of notice as leave requested, or if longer three days’ notice. Employers cannot decline the requests but can postpone them if the business would be ‘unduly disrupted’. However an employee cannot be treated detrimentally or dismissed for requesting or taking Carer’s Leave, or if the employer thinks they will. 

Make sure you’re prepared ahead of April by creating a Carer’s leave policy.

Under the new Regulations:

Dependant means:

  • spouse, partner, child, parent
  • Lives in same household
  • Reasonably relies on the employee to provide or arrange care

Long term healthcare need means:

  • Physical or mental illness or injury that requires or likely to require more than 3 months care 
  • Disability; or
  • Requires care relating to old age