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Are you ready for The Carer’s Leave Act?

May 17, 2024

As a Human Resources Business Partner at SVC Solutions, Katy Williams is here to help you ensure your business is ready for significant new legislation which will change the rights of your employees.

Significant changes in employment law are set to be implemented this April, which are going to result in new opportunities for workers and new responsibilities for employers.

From April 6, 2024, two new pieces of legislation will come into force that will ultimately give more flexibility to workers and better protect their rights.

The Carer’s Leave Act 2023 received Royal Assent in May 2023 and is one of the pieces of legislation that will come inro effect from April 6 and impact on the provision employers need to make for employees with carer responsibilities.
Among the new regulations included in The Carers Leave Act 2023 will be stipulation that employees who are unpaid carers for a relative or a friend will be entitled to receive five days unpaid leave each year from their employer. The act also ensures that those employees who take the carer’s leave will be protected from dismissal or any detriment as a result of taking the leave.

This development has been warmly welcomed by carer groups and charities and is seen as a significant move forward for those with caring responsibilities. In fact, Helen Walker, Chief Executive of Carers UK, has commented on how the change is expected to benefit more than 2 million employees, making a valuable difference to their lives and helping to ease just some of the stresses which come from juggling work and care.

From my experience working with both employers and employees, I would echo the view that these changes are a big step forward and will be an essential support for carers who find it hard to balance the demands of work and caring for a loved one. As an aging population in the UK, the necessity of long-term care is becoming an increasingly common part of our lives and so this is the right time for employment law to start to reflect this.

The implementation of The Carer’s Leave Act coincides with the introduction of new regulations from The Employment Relations (Flexible Working) Act 2023. This legislation will remove the requirement for an employee to have 26 weeks continuous service before they can make a formal flexible working request, making it an employee’s right from day one. In fact, candidates will be able to even ask to work flexibly at interview stage.

Employers will also have the right to make two statutory requests for flexible working within a 12-month period and this will be applicable to flexible working requests that are made on or after April 6, 2024.

Not only will employers need to understand these new responsibilities and ensure they are working with employers to protect their rights, but they will also need to produce new policies and documentation. It will also be important that these new policies are introduced to training for line managers within a business, so they are confident to manage employees’ requests relating to these changes and ensure they comply with the new regulations to avoid potential claims.

Updating contracts and company policies is one of the core provisions of my service as a human resources consultant for SVC Solutions. If you have any queries relating to how The Carer’s Leave Act or The Employment Relations (Flexible Working) Act will impact on your business, please feel free to call me on 01206 262117 and I will be happy to talk you through how I can help.

Get the right help for you and your company

SVC Solutions can provide you and your team with a complete range of business solutions to business-critical issues. For a no-obligation confidential chat about how we can help you and your company, please get in touch.

Call us on 01206 262117