Government backs Carer's Leave Bill

2 mins

Posted on 02 Nov 2022

Government backs Carer's Leave Bill

New right to carer's leave

The Government has confirmed it is backing the Carer's Leave Bill. This is a Private Members’ Bill, but with Government support it is likely to be passed by Parliament and to become law. 

The new right

The Carer’s Leave Bill introduces the right for employees to take a minimum of one week’s unpaid leave per year in order to provide or arrange care for a dependant with a long-term care need. 

A dependant is defined as the employees’ spouse, civil partner, child or parent, someone who lives in the same household (other than a lodger or tenant) or someone who reasonably relies on the employee to provide or arrange care for them. A dependant has a long-term care need if they have an illness or injury that requires or is likely to require care for more than three months, if they are disabled for the purposes of the Equality Act 2010 or if they require care due to old age. 

The right will be a day one right so no qualifying period of employment will be required. According to the Government, employees will be able to take the leave flexibly to suit their caring responsibilities and will not need to provide evidence of how the leave is used or who it will be used for. 

Employees taking carer’s leave will be protected from dismissal and detriment as a result of taking time off, with compensation calculated in the usual way. They will also be able to bring an employment tribunal claim if their employer unreasonably postpones their leave or prevents or attempts to prevent them from taking it. In these cases, tribunals will be able to award compensation of such amount as they consider to be just and equitable in all the circumstances, including the employer’s behaviour and any consequential loss sustained by the employee. 

Although the Bill is progressing through Parliament, it is not clear when the new right will be in force. 

In July this year, the Government also announced that it was backing Private Members’ Bills which will see the introduction of neonatal care leave and changes to the laws on tips, gratuities and service charges. It is also backing a Private Members' Bill which will extend redundancy protection for pregnant women and new parents. 

James Anderson

James is an established UK employment law expert and deals with a wide variety of employment matters for both employers and employees. He appreciates that his clients need good advice quickly in order to be able to make the best commercial decisions.

  • Partner
  • T: +44 (0)118 951 6762
  • Email me

View profile

Helen Brooks

With over 25 years’ experience, Helen is an established employment litigator and adviser working with both employers and employees. She advises on all aspects of employment law and HR strategy.

  • Partner
  • T: +44 (0)20 3696 7173
  • Email me

View profile

The articles published on this website, current at the date of publication, are for reference purposes only. They do not constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon as such. Specific legal advice about your own circumstances should always be sought separately before taking any action.

Back to top