26 May 2023

Parents and unpaid carers are set to receive a ‘boost’ with new employment protections, covering leave entitlement and redundancy rules. This is the result of the fact that three government backed Private Members Bills have received royal assent on 24 May 2023.

The new laws that received royal assent were:

  • the Neonatal Care (Leave and Pay) Act - this will allow eligible employed parents whose new-born baby is admitted to neonatal care to take up to 12 weeks of paid leave so that they can spend more time with their baby at what is a hugely stressful time. This will be in addition to other leave entitlements such as maternity and paternity leave
  • the Protection from Redundancy (Pregnancy and Family Leave) Act - this will allow the extension of existing redundancy protections whilst on maternity leave, adoption leave or shared parental leave to also cover pregnancy and a period of time after a new parent has returned to work
  • the Carer’s Leave Act - this will create a new statutory flexible unpaid leave entitlement for employees who are caring for a dependant with a long-term care need. This will enable carers to better balance their caring and work responsibilities, supporting them to remain in employment.

The government believes when the new laws come into force, this will help to increase workforce participation, protect vulnerable workers and level the playing field. The government will lay down secondary legislation in due course to implement these new entitlements.

Business Minister, Kevin Hollinrake, said:

‘‘We know how stressful it can be for parents caring for a new-born in neonatal care, or someone who is trying to juggle work with caring responsibilities, and these additional protections will ensure they get the support they need.

Over the past year, we have proven our commitment to supporting workers across the UK, including raising the national living wage to its highest yet. Protecting and enhancing workers’ rights whilst supporting businesses to grow remains a priority for this government and a dynamic labour helps to drive up wages, employment and economic growth.’’

The wave of wins for workers’ rights this year has been welcomed by charities and parties across parliament, including the Employment (Allocation of Tips) Bill.

Read the full press release here.

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