What is the new law for carers leave? – Carers Leave Act 2023

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What is the new law for carers leave?

The new law allows those with caring responsibilities an additional 5 days leave or pro rata equivalent if the employee is part-time in a 12 month period to either care for a dependant or to arrange care for a dependant. The right to request carer’s leave applies from the first day of employment.

Who qualifies as a dependent for Carer’s Leave?

  • their husband, wife, civil partner or partner
  • their child
  • their parent
  • a person who lives in their household (not tenants, lodgers or employees)
  • a person who relies on them for care, such as an elderly neighbour

What is classed as a long-term care need?

A dependant has a long-term care need if they have any of the following:

When might an employee need to use Carer’s Leave?

An employee could request carer’s leave for any of the following:

  • taking their disabled child to a hospital appointment;
  • moving their parent who has dementia into a care home;
  • accompanying a housebound dependant on a day trip;
  • providing meals and company for an elderly neighbour while their main carer is away with work for the day.

Where an employee is a parent who needs to care for a child and the chid does not have a long term care need they should either use holiday, using any allowance under time off for dependants or unpaid leave.

How to request to take Carer’s Leave

Whilst employees do not need to make the request in writing or provide evidence of the dependant’s care needs, they do need to give the employer notice. The amount of notice required depends on how many days have been requested. The table below sets out the minimum notice required:

Number of days requested Minimum notice required
Half a day to 1 day 3 days’ notice
1.5 to 2 days 4 days’ notice
2.5 to 3 days 6 days’ notice
3.5 to 4 days 8 days’ notice
4.5 to 5 days 10 days’ notice
6 days (if an employee works 6 days a week) 12 days’ notice

Carer’s leave – Acas

How employers should comply with Carer’s Leave Act 2023 

  • Update any staff handbooks to incorporate carer’s leave.
  • Be mindful of any potential claims for associative discrimination.
  • Although the leave is unpaid consider offering carer’s leave as paid leave.
  • Address any training needs.

For expert legal advice and guidance on navigating Carer’s Leave or any employment law matters, contact WSP Solicitors today. You can reach us directly at 01453 847200 or conveniently fill out the enquiry form located on the side of this page.


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