Employers need to be ready for the new employment law that comes into force on 6 April 2024.

The Carer’s Leave Regulations 2024 is new legislation and sets out the statutory scheme under which employees can apply for up to one week of unpaid carer’s leave in any 12-month period.

Business owners need to be aware of the following:

  • The new right is a Day 1 employment right.

  • The right applies to employees who have a dependant with a long-term care need and want to be absent from work to provide or arrange care for that dependant.

  • Requests can be in consecutive or non-consecutive half-days or full days.

  • Employees must give notice in writing of their intention to take carer’s leave. They must confirm their entitlement to take it and give whichever is the longer of at least twice the amount of notice than the period of leave requested or three days’ notice.
  • Employers can postpone a request if the operation of the business would be unduly disrupted. In these circumstances, the employer must give notice of the postponement before the leave was due to begin and explain why it’s necessary. The employer must then allow the leave to be taken within one month of the start date of the leave originally requested. The employer should consult the employee about rescheduling the leave.

  • Employees are protected from detriment and dismissal because they take or seek to take carer’s leave or the employer believes they are likely to do so.

Employers should consider creating a new written policy or add a reference to carer’s leave in any existing policy or staff handbook.

Farleys Solicitors specialise in all areas of HR and employment law for all levels of employees.

If you require advice and assistance in relation to compulsory or voluntary redundancies, re-structures and re-organisations, contracts of employment, policies and procedures, staff handbooks, variation of employment contracts, settlement (compromise) agreements and termination / severance packages, please contact Farleys’ employment law & HR team on 0845 287 0939 or contact us by email.