New Entitlements for Parents and Carers – An Update

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We want to update you on three new pieces of legislation that have been given Royal Assent, which provides parents and unpaid carers with new protections at work.

Neonatal Care (Leave and Pay) Act 2023, will allow eligible employed parents whose newborn baby is admitted to neonatal care to take up to 12 weeks of paid leave to spend more time with their baby. This is in addition to other leave entitlements such as maternity and paternity leave.  Regulations will now address matters such as eligibility, which will include the relevant parental relationship, the medical conditions or circumstances in which the entitlement is triggered, and the rate of pay.  It is expected that the entitlements provided will be in place by April 2025.

Protection from Redundancy (Pregnancy and Family Leave) Act 2023, will allow for the extension of existing redundancy protections while on maternity, adoption, or shared parental leave to also cover pregnancy and a period of time after a new parent has returned to work.  The provisions of this act will come into force 2 months after it was passed.  It was passed on 24th May 2023 and so will come into force on or around 25th July 2023.

Carer’s Leave Act 2023, will create a new statutory entitlement to one week of flexible unpaid leave per year for employees who are caring for a dependant with a long-term care need.  There has been no indication of when the entitlement will begin but it will not be before April 2024.

The Government’s press release states that it intends to lay down secondary legislation ‘in due course’ to implement these new entitlements and much of the specific detail will be contained within those regulations.

If you have any questions about this topic please contact the Employment Law Advisory Team on 01274 864999.

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