UK government asks for input on leave for carers

Female home caregiver talking with senior woman, sitting in living room and listening to her carefully.

The UK government is considering allowing qualifying employees to take a week of unpaid leave each year to provide care, and invites input through 3 Aug 2020. The government proposes that the amount of leave would be capped over a certain number of years. 

Specifically, the consultation invites comments on the following issues:

  • The purpose of carers’ leave and its interaction with other employment rights that aim to help individuals balance work and other responsibilities (for example, flexible working, vacation entitlement, unpaid parental leave, and emergency leave to care for a dependent).
  • The eligibility criteria for taking leave.
  • How the leave could be taken and the notification process for requesting leave. The government proposes two options — a single block of one week, or taking leave as individual or half-days. Leave would be prorated for part-time work.
  • The employment protections for individuals applying for, or taking, carers’ leave. The government proposes that employees would have similar employment protections applicable to other types of leave. They wouldn’t be treated detrimentally, dismissed because they requested or took time off, and would be entitled to claim automatic unfair dismissal. The government also proposes that employees could complain to an employment tribunal if their employer unreasonably refused to grant time-off.

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Fiona Webster
by Fiona Webster

Principal, Mercer’s Law & Policy Group

Stephanie Rosseau
by Stephanie Rosseau

Principal, Mercer’s Law & Policy Group

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