The Carer’s Leave Act 2023 came into force on the 6th of April 2024 and brings with it a small raft of changes that employers will need to be aware of. In this short blog, we’ll outline what the Act states and what you as an employer will need to do to be compliant and prepared.

What is the Carers Leave Act 2023?  

The Carers Leave Act 2023 entitles an employee to be absent from work on leave to provide or arrange care for a dependent with a long-term care need. Here’s a breakdown of what you need to know:

  • A person is a ‘dependent’ of an employee if they are a spouse, civil partner, child or parent who lives in the same household as the employee (but who is not their boarder, employee, lodger or tenant) and/or reasonably relies on the employee to provide or arrange care
  • A carer is entitled to one week’s unpaid leave in every 12-month period to arrange care for a dependent with a long-term need. A long-term need is defined in the Act as:

– An illness or injury (whether physical or mental) that requires, or is likely to require, care for more than three months;

– A disability under the Equality Act 2010;

– Care for a reason connected to old age

  • Employees aren’t required to provide evidence that they are a carer for the purposes of their request
  • Employees cannot be penalised for taking leave under the act.

What does the Carers Leave Act 2023 mean for employers?

As an employer, you can’t reject the request but can postpone it if you reasonably consider that the business will be unduly disrupted if you accept the leave. Your employee must be allowed to take the leave within one month of their original application.

As an Employer, you should either amend existing relevant policies or implement a new policy governing Carers Leave. It’s also a good idea to train managers on the new rights for employees, how to deal with requests sensitively and the dangers of potential claims if such matters are not handled appropriately.

If you require assistance with an employment law matter, our team of experienced employment lawyers are ready and waiting to give you the advice and support needed.

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