A Royal Assent was given on 24 May for the following legislation:
1. Neonatal Care (Leave and Pay) Act 2023
Parents whose newborn baby is admitted to neonatal care will be given a day one right for up to 12 weeks paid leave. This leave is proposed to be in addition to maternity or paternity leave. In addition, qualifying employees, will also be entitled to statutory neonatal leave pay.
This protection is given to parents of newborns who are admitted to neonatal care at any point up to the age of 28 days old and who are in hospital for at least 7 days.
2. Protection from Redundancy (Pregnancy and Family Leave) Act 2023
Existing redundancy protections for employees on maternity, adoption or shared parental leave in respect of suitable alternative employment will be extended to cover pregnancy and a period of time after a new parent has returned to work. The protection will be in force from the moment the employees' pregnancy is disclosed and lasts for a period of 6 months (we think) from when the employee returns from maternity/adoption or shared parental leave.
Currently, protection is only given during the period that maternity, adoption or shared parental leave is taken.
Carer’s Leave Act 2023
There will be a new statutory entitlement to one week of flexible unpaid leave per year for employees who are caring for a dependant with a long-term care need. This entitlement will be a day one right.
Currently, there is no dedicated statutory entitlement in place for informal carers. The law permits a ‘reasonable’ amount of time off work to care for a dependant in emergencies, which force carers to find alternative ways to take time off work – such as using annual leave.
These new changes should bring a positive change to many parents and carers in the UK, allowing them to balance work and home life more effectively. Although passed, we await secondary legislation, which will then bring these changes into force and also explain some of the questions still outstanding. So, watch this space for further updates on the new legislation.
If you require further legal advice, please reach out to our specialist Employment team today, who can provide a bespoke solution or package suitable for your business and your people.
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