A Bill that gives employees across Great Britain the right to take unpaid leave from work to care for older, disabled or seriously ill relatives or friends, received Royal Assent on 24th May 2023 and is set to become law.
The Carer’s Leave Act 2023 will ensure that the estimated two million employees currently juggling paid employment and caring responsibilities will be able to take up to five days of unpaid Carer’s Leave to support their loved ones. Eligible employees will be able to take Carer’s Leave regardless of how long they have worked for their employer.
Carers UK has led the campaign for the introduction of Carer’s Leave for decades. The national charity for family and friend carers is delighted that after Wendy Chamberlain MP introduced the Carer’s Leave Bill in June 2023 as a Private Member’s Bill it has passed as an Act and is set to become law, likely in 2024.
Helen Walker, Chief Executive of Carers UK, said: “The evidence is clear: being able to take leave from work to support an older, disabled or seriously ill relative makes a huge difference to carers’ lives and can help them stay in paid work. Managing these dual responsibilities is often stressful and demanding. Being able to use Carer’s Leave will remove guilt for many workers needing to take some time out to care, or having to use their annual leave – their own rest time.”
Helen continued: “There are big benefits for businesses too – those who have already introduced Carer’s Leave have seen reduced recruitment costs and improved staff retention and wellbeing.”