Formerly known as the ‘Carer’s Leave Bill’, the Carer’s Leave Act has recently gained Royal Assent meaning that after the appropriate consultation period, legislation written in the act will soon become law and will impact employers up and down the country.
During May 2023, the Carer’s leave Bill which was put forward in 2022 by Wendy Chamberlain MP finished its final passage through the House of Lords at a successful ‘Third Reading’ which allowed the bill to become an act which will eventually become law.
The act hopes to secure new employment rights for individuals who have home caring responsibilities, individuals who currently struggle to juggle their caring responsibilities with the responsibilities of their full time, or part time employment.
According to , in 2020 over 7 million people found themselves in the difficult position of having to balance caring responsibilities with their paid employment. A lack of supportive legislation meant that those individuals would struggle to legitimately get the time they needed off work to deal with caring responsibilities at home. Not only is this bad for employees as individuals, it’s bad for the labour market on the whole, with an average of 600 people now having to leave work in order to take on care responsibilities at home each day.
The act aims to use legislative powers to make it easier for these individuals to get access to time off work in order to undertake care responsibilities at home. Initially the act will enable employees to take unpaid time off work, but the ultimate goal of Carers UK is for the law to allow up to 10 days’ paid leave for any UK employee who needs it.