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Empowering Carers: New Rights Under the Carers Leave Act

In a significant move to support employees with caring responsibilities, we are delighted to reveal that from 6th April 2024, employees with carer’s responsibilities will be granted the statutory right to take carer’s leave. This brings much-needed support and flexibility to individuals caring for dependents with long-term needs.
 

In our latest blog, we reveal the key updates as outlined in The Carer’s Leave Regulations 2024 that will affect both employees and their employers:


Key Updates for employees and employers


Statutory Right to Carer’s Leave: 


Following the Carer’s Leave Act 2023 receiving Royal Assent in May 2023, employees will have the legal entitlement to take carer’s leave to support dependents. This will come into force from 6th April 2024 and will be a day one right for employees. The definition of dependent mirrors that used for the right to time off for dependents. This includes: a spouse, civil partner, child, parent, person living in the same household as the employee or, a person who reasonably relies on the employee for care. 
The leave is intended for employees who need to support a dependent with a long-term care need. This has been defined as a physical or mental illness which is expected to require care for more than 3 months, a disability under the Quality Act 2010, or issues related to old age.


Flexible Leave Options: 


Employees are entitled to take one week of unpaid carer’s leave within a 12-month rolling period, with the flexibility to choose between half or full days. The time off does not have to be taken as consecutive days and is based on their usual working week, so if an employee works 3 days a week, they are entitled to 3 days leave. Guidance has been put in place for calculating time off for those with irregular working patterns. 


Employer Flexibility: 


Employees must provide notice of either twice the amount of time off being requested, or three days, whichever is the longest. Employers cannot deny the request for leave, however they can postpone leave dates in circumstances where the business operations may be deemed to be disrupted. The leave must however be allowed to be taken within a month of the original dates requested. 


Protection for Employees: 


Those on carer’s leave retain their terms and conditions of employment (excluding remuneration) and are protected from any detriment or dismissal.

We would recommend that ahead of the implementation date, employers prepare policies and train managers on the new legislation. Employers should also consider request forms for employees to declare how they meet the legislation, and record keeping systems. 


For more detailed information on the regulatory changes including the entitlement to carer’s leave, detailed conditions, and definitions of a dependent with long-term care needs, visit https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukdsi/2024/9780348254808/contents. 


Let's celebrate the positive steps towards supporting carers in the workplace with much-deserved acknowledgment and appreciation for their dedication to their loved ones.


#CarersLeaveAct #SupportingCarers #EmployeeRights #LegalExperts #LawFirm #EmploymentLaw

 

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