Statutory right to carer’s leave to be introduced
The government has concluded consultations on the provision of statutory carer’s leave, and has announced that the new right will be introduced when parliamentary time allows.
The right, to up to a week’s unpaid leave, will apply to any employee seeking to take leave in order to care for a spouse, partner, civil partner, child, parent, a person who lives in the same household or a person who reasonably relies on them for care. In each case the individual receiving the care must have a condition capable of being defined as a ‘disability’ under the Equality Act 2010, or have issues related to old age.
To access the statutory right to leave for this purpose, employees will need to give their employers twice the amount of notice as for the leave requested plus one day. Employees may request a minimum of a half a day, and a maximum of one week per year. Where leave requested is less than a week, the balance of the week will remain to be taken later in the year.
Employers must not unreasonably refuse a request
Employers will not be permitted to unreasonably refuse a request, nor subject their employees to detriment for seeking to take their entitlement to carer’s leave, which can be unpaid. If an employee feels that their employer is unreasonably refusing to grant carer’s leave, they will be able to resign and claim constructive dismissal in an employment tribunal.
Main points at a glance
- Applies to employees and is unlikely to apply to other classes of worker
- May be taken in relation to spouse, partner, civil partner, child, parent, a person who lives in the same household or a person who reasonably relies on them for care, provided that person has a disability as defined in the Equality Act, or age-related conditions
- Can be taken in isolated half days or full days up to a cumulative of 1 week (5 days) in any year
- Employee must give twice the amount of notice as for the leave requested, plus 1 day
- Employers may postpone the leave request if it will be unduly disruptive to their operations
- No entitlement to pay (though employers may choose to pay some or all of it.)
HR support services from myHRdept
When the new law is enacted myHRdept will consult clients on implementation options and will update staff handbooks accordingly.
Included within all of our HR outsourced support packages is a bank of support hours to help with a wide variety of HR issues. Our HR support packages for employers include staff handbooks and contracts of employment, larger packages include bespoke policies and complex contracts (Director’s service agreements, NED letters etc.) These do not impact support hours.