This week there is a second reading of the proposed Carer’s Leave Bill 2022-2023 in the House of Commons. The second reading is only the second stage of a Bill being considered in the House of Commons, before it can then proceed to be considered by the House of Lords.
If this Bill is introduced the current proposal would grant an entitlement to one weeks’ leave for anyone who is caring for a spouse or partner, parent or other dependent who needs care because of a disability, old age, or any other illness or injury which is likely to require at least three months of care. This entitlement would be available to all employees from the first day of employment.
This could help millions of people to give them additional time when juggling caring responsibilities. It is important to note that the entitlement is unpaid, leaving employees who cannot afford to take time unpaid to use their annual leave entitlement for this purpose. Supporters of the Bill hope that it will encourage employees to speak to employers about caring responsibilities and hope that employers use their discretion to implement paid carer’s leave policies.
We will provide a further update if the legislation is introduced. For employers, they will need to plan how they intend to publicise the introduction of the entitlement within the workplace and ensure any relevant HR policies are updated. Employers will also need to consider how to monitor when any leave which is taken, by updating existing systems, and informing managers of the new entitlement.
Get in touch with our team if you want to discuss your existing employee handbook policies or to discuss introducing any changes.