It’s a hat trick for new family-friendly employment law rights, with three new Acts becoming law on 24 May 2023. The details of the new rights will be contained in separate Regulations, to be implemented “in due course”. However, in summary:
Neonatal Care (Leave and Pay) Act 2023
This will create a new day-one right for eligible employed parents whose new-born baby is admitted to neonatal care to take up to 12 weeks of leave. This in addition to other relevant leave entitlements, such as maternity and paternity leave. Those with at least 26 weeks’ continuous services will be eligible for statutory pay.
The new rights are expected to be take effect in April 2025.
Carer’s Leave Act 2023
This will introduce a day-one right for employees to take one week’s unpaid leave each year to provide or arrange care for a dependant with a long-term care need. Subject to specified notice periods, the leave can be taken in increments of a day or half a day over a 12-month period. “Long-term care need” is expected to cover:
Illness or injury that requires, or is likely to require, care for more than three months
A disability under the Equality Act 2010
Care for a reason connected with old age
It is expected that the new rights will not take effect before April 2024.
Protection from Redundancy (Pregnancy and Family Leave) Act 2023
Under the Protection from Redundancy (Pregnancy and Family Leave) Bill, expectant employees will receive greater protection from redundancy during pregnancy, and new parents will have extended protection when they return from maternity, adoption and shared parental leave.
In redundancy scenarios, where an employer proposes to dismiss an employee who is on maternity, adoption, or shared parental leave, it is obliged to offer them any suitable alternative vacancy in priority to other employees who are provisionally selected for redundancy.
The Act will extend the redundancy protection period to cover any period of pregnancy and a period of time (expected to be six months) immediately following their return to work from family leave.
The Act will come into force at the end of the period of two months from 24 May.
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