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Introduction of The Carer’s Leave Regulations 2024

By March 25, 2024Employment

New regulations providing employees with the right to take unpaid carers leave will come into force on 6 April.

The Carer’s Leave Regulations 2024 provide employees with the right to take up to one week of statutory unpaid carer’s leave in a 12-month period to care for, or arrange care for, dependants with long-term care needs.

The Regulations also provide employees with protection from suffering any detriment and being unfairly dismissal relating to carer’s leave.

The Regulations provide employees with these rights from the outset of their employment.

To be eligible to take carer’s leave, the employee will need to:-

1. have a dependant with a long-term care need;

2. want to be absent from work to provide or arrange care for that dependant; and

3. not have already utilised their statutory entitlement to carer’s leave in the 52 weeks prior.

The Regulations detail the amount of notice an employee is required to give their employer as to the dates on which they want to take the leave, which is at least twice the number of days as the period of leave requested, or three days in advance of the intended leave date(s), whichever is earlier.

The Regulations also detail what constitutes “a weeks leave”. For employees with a normal work pattern, this will be relatively straight forward, but for those who have a varied working pattern, this is calculated based on an average of the work periods over the preceding 12-month period. If the employee has been employed for less than 52 weeks, the calculation is based on the entire period of the employee’s employment.

The leave can be taken as a number of half days or full days totalling one week, or as a continuous week, and the leave does not need to be taken on consecutive days.

An employer will be permitted to postpone an employee’s leave if it considers that the business would be unduly disrupted by the employee’s absence. However, to do so, it must notify the employee as soon as reasonably practicable and not later than the earlier of seven days after the employee’s notice was given to the employer, or before the earliest day or part day requested in the employee’s notice. The employer will also need to consult with the employee and reschedule the leave to commence no later than one month after the earliest day or part day of the employee’s request.

If you are a member of our Absolute HR scheme, we will be in touch with a further update as to this new development in employment law. We will also be holding a seminar on 2 May (date to be confirmed) which will cover these Regulations and recent updates on family friendly rights generally.

Jennifer Johnson

Author Jennifer Johnson

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