Carer’s Leave Regulations

Lauren Wilson
Lauren Wilson
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The Carer’s Leave Regulations 2024, which will take effect from 6 April 2024, will provide employees who have caring responsibilities for a dependant with the right to apply for unpaid carer’s leave.

Qualifying employees will be able to take a period of up to one week of unpaid carer’s leave, in any 12-month rolling period. There is the option for employees to take this leave as half or full days, and as either consecutive or non-consecutive days.

To be eligible for carer’s leave, employees must:

  • Have a dependant with a long-term care need;
  • Seek to take the leave to provide or arrange care for that dependant; and
  • Have not exceeded their entitlement to one week of carer’s leave during any 12-month rolling period.

There is no qualifying service requirement for this right, therefore employers will need to bear in mind that employees shall be able to make an application for carer’s leave from the first day of employment.

Employees must give their employer written notice of their intention to take carer’s leave, specifying:

  1. that they are entitled to take carer’s leave, and
  2. the days on which the carer’s leave is to be taken.

Employees must give either twice as many days’ notice as the number of days requested, in advance of the earliest day specified for the leave, or three days in advance of the earliest day specified in the notice, whichever is the soonest. Employers will not be able to require an employee to supply evidence in relation to a request for carer’s leave before granting the leave.

Where an employer considers that the operation of their business would be unduly disrupted if the employee took carer’s leave during the period identified in the employee’s notice, the employer may postpone this leave. To do so the employer must:

  • Allow the employee to take the leave at another time within one month of the earliest day originally requested by the employee;
  • Provide the employee with written notice that the leave will be postponed, stating the reasons for this postponement and the alternative agreed dates on which the leave can be taken; and
  • Provide this notice either seven days after the employee gave notice to the employer or before the earliest day requested by the employee, whichever is the earliest of the two.

Finally, an employee who has taken, seeks to take, or is believed by the employer as likely to take carer’s leave is protected from suffering a detriment or being dismissed because of doing so.

If you would like to discuss the implications of the new carer’s leave, or if we can provide support or assistance on any other employment law matters, please do not hesitate to contact a member of the team on 0141 331 5150.

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