Three Government-backed employment bills have received Royal Assent, becoming, respectively: the Protection from Redundancy (Pregnancy and Family Leave) Act 2023; the Neonatal Care (Leave and Pay) Act 2023; and the Carer’s Leave Act 2023.
Below, we outline what these new Acts mean for employers and employees.
Protection from Redundancy (Pregnancy and Family Leave) Act 2023
The Protection from Redundancy (Pregnancy and Family Leave) Act 2023 will extend the redundancy protections that currently apply to employees on maternity, adoption and shared parental leave to employees who are pregnant or who have recently returned to work from such leave (see here).
Neonatal Care (Leave and Pay) Act 2023
The Neonatal Care (Leave and Pay) Act 2023 will allow eligible employed parents whose newborn baby is admitted to neonatal care to take up to 12 weeks of paid leave, in addition to other leave entitlements such as maternity and paternity leave (see here). The right to leave will apply from day one of employment, although the right to pay will be subject to a 26 week service requirement.
Carer’s Leave Act 2023
The Carer’s Leave Act 2023 will give employees who have a dependant with a long-term care need a statutory right to one week’s unpaid care leave per year (see here). This right will apply from day one of employment and employees will not be required to provide any evidence of their entitlement to the leave.
Although these Acts are now on the statute books, the entitlements they will provide are unlikely to come into force before 2024 at the earliest (the new neonatal leave and pay entitlements are not expected until April 2025), as further secondary legislation (Regulations) will be required to set out the detail of how these new rights will apply in practice. Make UK’s policy team has been engaging with Government on these issues and will continue to do so as the Regulations are developed. Once these provisions come into force, employers will need to update their policies and ensure that HR and line managers understand the new law. We will keep our subscribers informed once the Regulations and any accompanying guidance become available.
How we can help
If you are a Make UK subscriber, you can speak to your regular adviser for guidance on the law and best practice for supporting staff members who have family and caring related responsibilities. You can also access further information on relevant topics such as family rights, flexible working, discrimination and harassment, including template policies and drafting guidance, in the HR & Legal Resources section of our website.
Make UK offers a suite of micro-videos focusing on issues relating to equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI). Please email Nicola Kibble ([email protected]) for further information or click here for more information about all of the ways we can support you with EDI+ related issues.
If you are not a Make UK subscriber, our expert HR and legal advisers can also offer guidance on a consultancy basis. For further information, contact us on 0808 168 5874 or email [email protected].