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New Carers Leave right from 6 April 2024

The Carer’s Leave Regulations 2024 come into effect on 6 April 2024.  They provide for a new right for employees who are carers, by providing the entitlement for up to one week of unpaid carer’s leave in any 12-month period.

The new right will be available to employees from day one of their employment and who can show they have a dependant with a long-term care need.  The one week of unpaid leave (an employer can choose to pay if they wish) can be taken in half-days or full days and do not have to be consecutive.  Employees will need to provide their employer with notice of their intention to take carer’s leave in writing.  Like holiday requests, the amount of notice must be at least twice the amount of leave requested or, if longer, three days’ notice.

Employers have the right to postpone a request for career’s leave if they can show the operation of their business will be unduly disrupted.  If this is the case, the employer has to tell the employee about the postponement before the leave is due to start and must explain the reasons for it. The postponement can only be for a maximum of one month.

Employees are also protected from any detriment or dismissal because they request, or indeed take, carer’s leave.

Employers with family friendly policies will need to update them to account for this new right.  As it is only an unpaid right, I do question whether it will be taken up in a significant way.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact Paul Burton, Employment Law Solicitor.