From the 6th of April 2024 carers can receive one weeks’ unpaid leave within each rolling 12-month period to help manage and balance their long-term caring responsibilities alongside working obligations.
To be eligible for carers leave, the employee must be a carer for a dependent with a long-term care need; their reason for absence must be to provide or arrange care for the dependent; and they must not have already exceeded their one weeks’ leave in the last 12-month period.
A dependent refers to a partner, child or parent of the employee who lives in the same household and reasonably relies on the employee for care.
A long-term care need is either a physical or mental illness or injury that requires care for more than three months, is a disability under the Equality Act 2010, or are issues related to “old age”.
The one weeks’ leave will be an automatic day-one right for eligible employees, and employees can choose to take the leave as a single block of leave or as separate and non-consecutive days or half days.
Should an employee wish to take carers leave, they will need to provide notice to their employer, and the notice must either be provided in twice as many days as the period of leave requested or three days’ notice (whichever is greater).
Employers may be able to postpone a request only if they have a genuine reason to believe that this will cause disruption to business operations.
If this occurs, employers are required to provide seven days’ notice to the employee, with their reason for the postponement, and they must allow the employee to take this leave within a month of the originally requested date.
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