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New right to unpaid carer’s leave – 06 April

Published On: February 29th, 2024By

A new day-one right to take one week’s unpaid carer’s leave per year will come into force on 06 April.

The Carer’s Leave Act 2023 introduces this new right and means eligible individuals will be able to make use of the right from day one of employment. How does it work?

Caring responsibilities – the right applies to individuals with caring responsibilities (those providing care for someone with a health condition lasting at least three months, who is disabled, or who needs care as a result of old age). This can include those caring for a spouse, civil partner, child, parent, dependent or someone living in the same house.

How leave can be taken – individuals can request the leave as consecutive or non-consecutive full days, half days, or longer periods of up to one week each year. Employees must provide you with written notice of their intention to take carer’s leave, giving you at least twice the amount of notice than the amount of leave requested (or if longer, three days’ notice).

Delaying the leave – you will be able to delay the leave if it will disrupt your organisation, subject to giving appropriate notice and explaining why the postponement is necessary. You must then allow the leave to be taken within one month of the start date of the leave originally requested. Rescheduling the leave should be done in consultation with the employee.

Self-certification – there is no requirement for individuals to evidence what the leave is for and there’s no document that proves someone is a carer. We’d recommend introducing a self-certification form for employees to complete to set out why they’re entitled to the leave. We’ve added one to our Intelligent Employment platform.

Protection – individuals will also benefit from protection from dismissal or suffering a detriment as a result of taking time off.

New carer’s leave documents – as well as a self-certification form, also want to introduce a carer’s leave policy (we can help!) and train your managers on what this new right means. You’ll also need a system to track the number of days taken.

Don’t hesitate to get in touch if you need our advice or guidance on implementing these changes.

This update is accurate on the date it was published, but may be subject to change which may or may not be notified to you. This update is not to be taken as advice and you should seek advice if anything contained within affects you or your business.