As a former carer and someone whose family were affected by disablement and very long-term illness, I truly understand the challenges family carers can face trying to juggle unpaid care alongside balancing paid employment. I am therefore delighted the Carer’s Leave Act is now law.
Millions of people across the UK, who are currently providing unpaid care to dependant family members or friends, are now entitled to unpaid leave under new laws.
Around 2 million of those providing unpaid care are thought to be doing so while balancing work alongside their caring responsibilities. With no dedicated statutory leave entitlement for these informal carers currently in place, many have to resort to taking other forms of leave to ensure they can care for those dependent on them.
The Carer’s Leave Act, first introduced by Wendy Chamberlain MP as a Private Members Bill, introduces a new and highly flexible entitlement of one week’s unpaid leave per year for employees who are providing or arranging care.
Carer’s Leave is now available to eligible employees from the first day of their employment, meaning unpaid carers will be supported regardless of how long they’ve worked with their employer. Staff will be able to take the leave flexibly to suit their caring responsibilities and will not need to provide evidence of how the leave is used or who it will be used for, ensuring a smoother process for both businesses and their employees.
This new Act provides dedicated new employment rights to millions of carers for the very first time, helping them to balance remaining in employment and to be better supported in the crucial caring role they play. As a former vice chair of the APPG, and due to my long-standing support of Carer’s UK, I was proud to support this legislation from the beginning.
You can read more about my support for the Carer’s Leave Act here: https://www.mimsdavies.org.uk/news/mims-davies-mp-backs-delivering-new-carers-leave-bill#:~:text=Mims%20Davies%20MP%20has%20declared%20her%20support%20for,including%20from%20the%20All-Party%20Parliamentary%20Group%20on%20Carers.