On 1 December 2023, commencement regulations were passed announcing that the Carer's Leave Act would come into force on 4 December 2023.

However, these regulations did not include the detailed provisions about how carer's leave will operate in practice, which are still awaited. It had previously been reported that the right to carer's leave was unlikely to come into force before April 2024, but with the Act now having been formally commenced, it may be that the rights come into force sooner than this. The Act provides employees (from the first day of their employment) with the right to take one week's unpaid leave every year in order to provide or arrange care for a dependant with a long-term care need. Dependents are defined as:

  • The spouse, civil partner, child or parent of an employee;
  • Someone who lives in the same household as the employee (other than as boarder, employee, lodger or tenant)
  • Someone who reasonably relies on the employee to provide or arrange care.

A long-term care need is defined as:

  • An illness or injury that requires, or is likely to require care for more than 3 months
  • A disability (as defined in the Equality Act 2010)
  • Care for a reason connected with old age.

Employers should consider introducing a policy to deal with requests for carers leave, and they may also wish to consider other ways in which carers can be supported in the workplace, as mentioned in our recent article.

If you have any queries you would like to discuss regarding the Carer's Leave Act please contact Rena Magdani or Matt McBride.

The content of this page is a summary of the law in force at the date of publication and is not exhaustive, nor does it contain definitive advice. Specialist legal advice should be sought in relation to any queries that may arise.

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