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  • Guide to the new Unpaid Carer's Leave

    Created: 05/04/2024
    News/Events Category: Health and Social Care
    This item will show under the following categories: Employability  

    The UK Government have brought in a brand-new Unpaid Carer's Leave which entitles employees to up to one week's unpaid leave per year to give or arrange care for a dependant. 

    From Saturday 06 April 2024, employees are entitled to Unpaid Carer's Leave from their first day of work for their employer. Their employment rights like holidays and returning to their job are protected during carer's leave. 

    What Is A Dependant? 

    Unpaid care can be given to a dependant, however the dependant does not have to be a family member. A dependant is deemed as someone who: 

    • Has a physical or mental illness or injury that means they're expected to need care for more than three months 
    • Has a disability as defined in the Equality Act 2010 
    • Requires care because of their old age

    How Long Is Unpaid Carer's Leave?

    Employees can take up to one week of leave every 12 months. A ‘week’ means the length of time they usually work over seven days. For example, if someone usually works three days a week, they can take three days of carer’s leave.

    They can either take a whole week off or take individual days or half days throughout the year.

    If an employee needs to care for more than one person, they cannot take a week of carer’s leave for each dependant. They can only take one week every 12 months. They can use the week of leave on more than one dependant.

    If an employee is a parent, they can take up to 18 weeks’ leave to look after their child. This is separate to carer’s leave.

    How To Take Unpaid Carer's Leave

    Employees need to give their employer notice before they want their leave to start. If the request is for half a day or a day, the notice period must be at least three days.

    If the request is for more than one day, the notice period must be at least twice as long as the requested leave. For example, if the request is for two days, the notice period must be at least four days.

    The notice period needs to be in full days, even if the request includes half day amounts.

    The request does not have to be in writing.

    Employees do not need to give evidence of their dependant’s care needs.

    If you need to look after someone in an emergency, you can take time off for this without giving a notice period. 

    Click here for full details of Unpaid Carer's Leave. 

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