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Incoming employment law protections for parents and carers

New employment law protection

New employment law protection

Incoming employment law protections for parents and carers

There is good news for parents and carers, as three family-related employment bills received Royal Assent on 24 May 2023. The government states that when in force, these laws will help to protect vulnerable workers and level the playing field. Clearly, this forms part of the government’s wider agenda to grow the economy and increase workforce participation.

We explain below what this legislation means and how your business can prepare.

The Neonatal Care (Leave and Pay) Act 2023

The Neonatal Care (Leave and Pay) Act 2023 gives employed parents the right to take a week of paid leave for every week that their baby requires neonatal care for up to 12 weeks. This entitlement is in addition to other leave entitlements such as paternity and maternity leave. This is good news for parents, who will now be able to spend more time with their baby during a stressful and worrying time. However, it is expected that this legislation will not come into force until 2025.

The Protection from Redundancy (Pregnancy and Family Leave) Act 2023

The Protection from Redundancy (Pregnancy and Family Leave) Act 2023 means that during pregnancy and a period of time after returning to work, an employer must offer a suitable alternative vacancy where one is available before making a new parent redundant. It is not yet clear how long this ‘protected period’ will be for, however, it is expected that new regulations will provide further detail. This new legislation is therefore an extension of existing redundancy protections that are in place whilst an employee is on maternity or paternity leave and is likely to be implemented in April 2024.

The Carer’s Leave Act 2023

The Carer’s Leave Act 2023 gives a new entitlement for employees who are carers to one week of flexible unpaid leave per year. This is to allow time to provide or arrange care for a dependent with a long-term care need. However, employees will not need to give evidence as to how the leave is going to be used and who it is going to be used in relation to. The Government hopes that this will enable carers to better balance their caring and work responsibilities, supporting them to remain in employment. It is expected that this will be implemented in April 2024.

The government’s press release published on the 25 May 2023 stated that it intends to lay down secondary legislation to implement these new entitlements ‘in due course’.

What should you do?

Whilst these pieces of legislation are not coming into force imminently, there are certain things that your business should consider in the meantime. For example:

  • Updating your staff handbooks with relevant policies so they are compliant once the new legislation comes into force; and
  • Communicate the upcoming changes to your employees and managers to create awareness and allow for sufficient training.

Contact us

For further information regarding the new employment law protection or any other employment related queries, please contact  Annalie King, Head of our Employment Team or Rosie Brighty Employment Paralegal at Kerseys Solicitors in Ipswich 01473 213311 or Kerseys Solicitors in Colchester 01206 584584 or email [email protected].

Kerseys Solicitors are just a click away visit our website and click “Call Me Back” and a member of our employment team will be happy to contact you at a time that is convenient to you.

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