Carers Leave Regulations 2024

15 April 2024

The Carer’s Leave Act 2023 and Carer’s Leave Regulations 2024 came into effect on 6th April 2024. 

An employee is now entitled to be absent from work because of caring responsibilities for a maximum of one week in any 12-month period. 

This right exists from day one of an employment.  The right is to unpaid leave only.  The leave can be taken as half days, full days or a full week, according to the employee’s normal work pattern.  The leave does not need to be for a continuous period.  The calculation of a week’s leave for part year or variable hours workers is subject to calculation of average working hours over the prior 52-week period.     

The caring responsibilities must be relevant to a dependent with a long-term (more than three months) care need.  The dependent can be a spouse, civil partner, child or parent of the employee, anyone who lives with them (excluding boarders, employees, lodgers or tenants) or anyone else who reasonably relies on the employee to provide or arrange care.    

An employer is prohibited from refusing a request for carer’s leave but can ask that it is taken at a different time if it would cause serious disruption to the business.  An alternative date must be agreed within 1 month of the original date requested. 

An employee maintains their normal terms and conditions during a period of care leave.  For example, they would continue to accrue annual leave.  

You should check your employee handbook and any relevant policy to see if it needs to be amended to reflect these new rights.  Get in touch if you need any assistance on 0121 445 6178.