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Unpaid Carer’s Leave: New Regulations Take Effect

On 29 February 2024, the Carer’s Leave Regulations 2024 (SI 2024/251) were enacted, a milestone in employee rights in England, Wales and Scotland. These regulations introduced unpaid carer’s leave from April 6 2024.

Under these regulations, employees will have the right to take unpaid leave to provide or arrange care for a dependant with long-term care needs. Notably, eligibility for this leave is not contingent on length of service, ensuring all qualifying employees can access it.

Carer’s leave will be granted in increments of half days or full days, with a maximum allowance of one week over a 12-month period. This flexibility aims to accommodate varying caregiving responsibilities while balancing work commitments.

Crucially, employees taking carer’s leave will be afforded the same employment protections as those on other forms of family-related leave. This includes safeguards against detriment or dismissal based on their decision to take or seek carer’s leave.

These regulations mark a significant step forward in supporting employees with caregiving responsibilities and promoting work-life balance. As they come into effect, it’s essential for both employers to familiarize themselves with these new rights and obligations and to introduce a policy.