Plans to introduce Carer’s Leave Entitlement
Within the UK, 7% of the population are carers with 36% of them juggling full time employment alongside caring responsibilities. Balancing work with caring responsibilities can prove extremely challenging; caring duties can be time-consuming and the additional stress can have an adverse effect on the carers’ emotions.
The government responded to the Carer’s Leave Consultation (2021) stating that they will introduce a new employment right that provides carers with up to 1 week (5 working days) of unpaid leave per year for caring responsibilities as suggested in the Carer’s Action Plan (2018 – 2020).
This leave will become available for carers from day 1 of employment and can be used flexibly – time off can be taken as full or half days.
Who is eligible?
In order to qualify for Carer’s Leave, an employee must care for someone with long term needs covered as a disability under the Equality Act (2010). Evidence is not however required of the dependents’ disability, as this would be a potential breach of third party GDPR.
If an employee wishes to use their Carer’s Leave, they are required to provide a notice period of twice the length of time requested off.
Appropriate reasons for taking Carer’s Leave include:
- Personal support – providing company or staying in touch
- Practical support – cooking, cleaning, maintenance and any other domestic tasks
- Personal and/or medical care – administering medications, collecting prescriptions, getting dressed, washing, bathroom support and feeding
Key points for an employer:
- A request cannot be refused, but can be deferred
- Accurate records need to be kept
- Dismissals relating to Carer’s Leave will be automatically unfair
As an employer, it is advisable to have a policy to mitigate any confusion around Carer’s Leave. It would be recommended to train managers on the new policy to ensure a clear understanding of the Carer’s Leave. Currently, there is no definite date to introduce this policy.
This move is predicted to benefit millions of Carer’s. Why not contact HR:4UK to ensure you are prepared when this policy does come into effect? Call today on 01455 444222 to speak to one of our expert advisors.
A qualified employment law solicitor and our managing director, Angela has unparalleled legal expertise and decades of experience and knowledge to draw from. She’s a passionate speaker and writer that loves to keep employers updated with upcoming changes to legislation, and is a regular guest speaker on BBC Leicester Radio.