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FAQ’s on the new Carer’s Leave Act

Beginning on 6 April 2024, the Carer’s Leave Act comes into force, meaning carers are now entitled to request 1 week’s unpaid leave to provide and arrange care for their dependants. Here is a quick summary of what you might want to know:

Who can use carer’s leave?

Any employee who has a dependant with a long term care need.

Dependants include any spouse, civil partner, child or parent of the employee, who live in the same household as the employee but who is not their tenant, lodger, boarder or employee or reasonably rely on employee to provide / arrange care.

A long term care need includes any disability as described by the Equality Act 2010, any care required for reason connected with old age, and any illness / injury (mental or physical) that is likely to require care for more than 3 months.

Do you have to have worked a certain length?

No – the right to leave is available for any employee no matter their length of service. It’s available from day one of their employment.

How much leave is available?

A maximum of one week (5 days) unpaid leave in total can be taken over any rolling 12 month period for full time employees.

This can be taken in increments of half days or individual days, and do not need to be taken consecutively.

Are there any conditions for the granting of this leave?

The leave is available for the provision or arranging of care for the dependant.

The employee is required to give notice of their intention to take leave – the notice period is twice as many days as the period of leave required or 3 days, whichever is the greater.

There is no need for the notice to be in writing nor do they have to provide any evidence of their eligibility.

The employee will be entitled to all their normal benefits during any period of leave, apart from pay.

The leave cannot be denied (although it can be postponed).

 

Shauna Jones

Trainee Solicitor

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+44 118 960 4662

There’s a large number of employment law changes coming in April that are set to shake up the workplace. Employers will need to update their policies to comply with these changes and ensure fair treatment of affected employees. Update your HR Policies for only £750 + VAT

What reasons can be used for postponement?

That the operation of the business would be unduly disrupted if leave permitted. We shall continue to review the matter for any further guidance published providing further clarification.

If postponed, the leave should be permitted within a month of the requested period.

Reasons for postponement should be given to the employee in writing within 7 days of the initial request, along with the permitted postponed dates.

Is this all the employer is required to do?

The above describes the minimum statutory requirement. An employer may provide greater protection if they wish i.e. by providing paid leave or flexible working arrangements.

If the contract of employment does offer a certain amount of days for carer’s leave, but less than 5, then the employee is still entitled to the remainder of the 5 days as unpaid leave. For example, if the contract provides for 3 days of paid carer’s leave, the employee is still entitled to 2 days unpaid leave in that annual period.

How can employers ensure they comply with this?

Employers are recommended to have a carer’s leave policy in place. The employment team at Clarkslegal regularly review guidance and monitor policies and procedures to ensure their compliance. Please do get in touch with our team should you need any assistance in putting a policy in place.

Our employment team is also available to review any policy you currently have in place to provide amendments or advice in order to comply with the latest legislation. Check out our current offer here. 

About this article

Disclaimer
This information is for guidance purposes only and should not be regarded as a substitute for taking legal advice. Please refer to the full General Notices on our website.

Shauna Jones

Trainee Solicitor

View profile

+44 118 960 4662

About this article

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