The Carer’s Leave Regulations 2024 have been laid before Parliament. They set out the statutory scheme under which employees can apply for up to one week of unpaid carer’s leave, in any 12 month period.
Key features are:
- the right is a Day One employment right
- the right applies to employees who have a dependant with a long-term care need and those who want to be absent from work to provide, or arrange care for that dependant
- requests can be in consecutive, or non-consecutive, half-days or full days
- employees must give notice, in writing, of their intention to take carer’s leave – confirming their entitlement to take it and giving at least twice the amount of notice than the period of leave requested. Or, if longer, three days’ notice
- employers can postpone a request if the operation of the business would be unduly disrupted. In these circumstances, the employer must give notice of the postponement before the leave was due to begin, and must explain why the postponement is necessary. The employer 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
- employees are protected from detriment and dismissal because they take, or seek to take, carer’s leave (or the employer believes they are likely to do so)
The Regulations are due to come into force on 6 April 2024.