New rights for parents and carers in the UK

19 June 2023 | Applicable law: England and Wales | 1 minute read

We have previously reported on the employment and equality measures for which the Government has expressed its support. Three Government-backed Private Members’ Bills that will give parents and unpaid carers new protections at work received Royal Assent on 24 May 2023, which brings the measures a step closer to being implemented. 

  • the Neonatal Care (Leave and Pay) Act 2023, will allow eligible employed parents whose new-born baby is admitted to neonatal care to take up to 12 weeks of paid leave. This new right is additional to other leave family related entitlements;
  • the Protection from Redundancy (Pregnancy and Family Leave) Act 2023, will allow for the extension of existing redundancy protections, which apply while an employee is on maternity, adoption or shared parental leave, and to cover the entire period of a pregnancy plus a period of time after a parent has returned to work;  
  • the 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. This is in addition to the current legislation which allows employees time off for dependants in an emergency, a dependant being a close family member or someone who depends on the employee requesting leave.   

The three Acts will come into force at different times and secondary legislation will provide further detail and bring them fully into effect. The Government’s press release states that it intends to lay down secondary legislation ‘in due course’.

This document (and any information accessed through links in this document) is provided for information purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Professional legal advice should be obtained before taking or refraining from any action as a result of the contents of this document.


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