Do you juggle unpaid caring responsibilities with paid employment? 

April brings the long awaited Carers Leave Act  into effect on the 6th April 2024. 

This is the result of a long campaign to ensure that those with Caring responsibilities in addition to their paid working role, have some protection in law.  Whether you are currently a working Carer or a Carer considering returning to work, this is something to know more about. 

Keep an eye out for our online Discovery sessions, telling you all about it in June! We will provide you a FREE event link in May’s Newsletter.

The Carer’s Leave Act has opened up many more possibilities for carers who are employed.

  • The Carer’s Leave Act covers employees in England, Wales and Scotland. 
  • Employees are entitled to one week’s ( 5 days) unpaid leave per year if providing or arranging care for someone with a long-term care need. 
  • This leave can be taken flexibly (in half or full days) for planned and foreseen caring commitments.  
  • It is available from the first day of employment. 
  • It provides the same employment protections to employees as other forms of family-related leave, including protection from dismissal.  

The law doesn’t state what type of care this includes but it is intended to cover a range of caring situations. These could include things like taking someone to a medical appointment, supporting someone with personal care, arranging visits with health professionals or organising care for the future.

It is interesting to note that an employer can’t require an employee to supply evidence that they are caring so it is up to you to identify that you are caring and are requesting the leave. If you haven’t already notified your employer of your Caring role, now might be a good time. Many Carers use their Carer Friendly ID card, for this purpose, including a photocopy in their HR file so all future managers know their circumstance sand can offer support.  

You are required to give a minimum of three days notice

This leave is intended for planned and foreseen caring commitments. If the situation is urgent, employees have the legal right to take a reasonable amount of time off work to deal with an emergency involving someone who relies on them for help

This leave requirement is unpaid, therefore your employer does not have to pay you for this time. But many will, it is considered best practice. 

Have you got a good experience of working for a Carer Friendly Employer?

If you have an employer who is very understanding about the caring responsibilities that you have and offers any kind of flexibility or has any Carer policies in place, please tell them about Forward Carers Carer Friendly Employer Commitment Mark that they can apply for.

If you feel that your employer would benefit from finding out how they can support staff who juggle a caring role, you could tell your HR department or line manger about Carer Friendly Workplace Training that is available.

Do you feel your employer needs support around considering how to support Carers in their workforce?

We can approach them to see if they would like our support! 

Parent Carers have a different legal protection that has been in place for some time, they can take up to 18 weeks’ leave to look after their child. This is separate to Carer’s Leave. Further information about the Carer’s Leave Act is available on the Government website.