UK: New UK laws pave the way for new rights for carers and parents
These new rights are:
- Carer’s Leave – unpaid carers will have the right to a week of flexible unpaid leave each year to care for a dependant with a long-term care need. It is not yet known when this right will come into effect, but it is thought not before April 2024. For more information, please read our update.
- Neonatal – parents of babies who require specialist neonatal care following birth will be entitled to statutory neonatal care leave of up to 12 weeks’ paid leave. This will be in addition to any entitlement to other types of family-related leave they may have, such as maternity or paternity leave. This right is expected to come into effect in April 2025 according to Kevin Hollinrake MP on 22 May 2023, but we will need to watch this space.
- Protection from redundancy for women and new parents – employers will be required to offer suitable alternative vacancies to a wider category of workers who are at risk of redundancy. Now only those on maternity, adoption or shared parental leave have this right, but under the new law pregnant employees and parents who have recently returned from family-related leave will also be covered. It is not yet known when this right will come into effect.
More details about these new rights and how they will work in practice will be set out in Regulations.
Key Action Points for Human Resources and In-house Counsel
Employers should keep an eye out for further developments and may want to update their policies and procedures for when they come into effect.