Employment Law: Carer’s Leave

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The regulations explicitly safeguard employees from any detriment or dismissal resulting from taking or seeking to take carer’s leave.

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The Carer’s Leave Regulations 2024 has introduced a statutory framework so employees can apply for up to one week of unpaid carer’s leave within a 12-month period. These regulations, set to come into effect on 6 April 2024, encompass several key features aimed at providing support and flexibility for employees with dependants requiring long-term care.

The key features include:

1. Day One Employment Right

Carer’s leave is established as a day-one employment right, ensuring immediate access for eligible employees.

2. Applicability

The right extends to employees with dependants facing long-term care needs. It encompasses those who wish to be absent from work to either provide care directly or arrange care for their dependants.

3. Flexible Leave Requests

Employees can submit leave requests in various formats, including consecutive or non-consecutive half-days or full days, allowing for flexibility based on individual circumstances.

4. Notice Requirements

To take advantage of carer’s leave, employees must provide written notice to their employers. This notice serves to confirm their entitlement, and at least twice the amount of notice must be given as the requested leave period, or three days, whichever is longer.

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5. Employer’s Right to Postpone

Employers have the authority to postpone a leave request if its immediate approval would unduly disrupt business operations. The postponement notice must be issued before the carer’s originally scheduled leave commences, along with a clear explanation. The postponed leave must then be rescheduled within one month of the initially proposed start date, with consultation between the employer and employee.

6. Employee Protection

The regulations explicitly safeguard employees from any detriment or dismissal resulting from taking or seeking to take carer’s leave. This protection extends to cases where the employer believes that the employee is likely to take such leave.

Kiril MoskovchukTrainee SolicitorRead More by this author

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