New Carer’s Leave Entitlement – 6th April 2024

Draft regulations have been published which provide details on how the new statutory right to carer’s leave will operate from 6 April 2024. The headline points from the draft regulations are:

What should you know about the draft regulations?

Any employee who has a dependant with long-term care needs is entitled to up to one week’s unpaid carer’s leave in any 12-month period when they ‘want[s] to be absent from work to provide or arrange care’;

A ‘week’ means the length of time they usually work over 7 days (taken as an average over the previous 12 months for atypical workers.

To qualify for Carer’s leave, the dependent will have:

  • a physical or mental illness or injury that means they’re expected to need care for more than 3 months
  • a disability (as defined in the Equality Act 2010)
  • care needs because of their old age

The dependant does not have to be a family member, they can be anyone who relies on them for care.

Employees are entitled to carer’s leave from their first day of work for their employer. Their employment rights (like holidays and returning to their job) are protected during carer’s leave.

Leave can be taken in one continuous block or on separate days but a minimum of a half a day must be taken at a time;

The employee must comply with notification requirements:

  • If the request is for more than one day, the notice period must be at least twice as long as the requested leave. For example, if the request is for 2 days, the notice period must be at least 4 days.

There are limited circumstances in which an employer can postpone the leave requested and another date must be provided within one month.

The employer cannot require the employee to supply evidence in relation to a request for carer’s leave.

If the regulations are approved, employers will need to implement a carer’s leave policy and ensure that their payroll and time & attendance systems are ready for the new type of leave.

For more help and advice, please contact the HR Services Team or contact us via the form below:

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