New employment rights for parents and carers
Three new pieces of legislation that received cross party support were granted Royal Assent on 24 May 2023.
- The Neonatal Care (Leave and Pay) Act 2023: This new Act will allow for up to 12 weeks of paid neonatal care leave. This will be made available to employed parents if their new-born is admitted to neonatal care so they can spend more time with their child. These parents will continue to be entitled to normal maternity, paternity, and/or shared parental leave.
- Protection from Redundancy (Pregnancy and Family Leave) Act 2023: This Act will extend existing redundancy protections. This will allow for existing protections whilst on Maternity Leave, Adoption Leave or Shared Parental Leave to be extended to cover pregnancy and a period of time after a new parent has returned to work.
- The Carer’s Leave Act 2023: This Act will introduce a new entitlement of one week of flexible unpaid leave per year for employees who are caring for a dependant with a long-term care need.
The implementation dates of these new employment rights have not yet been announced as the government will need to lay down secondary legislation in due course to implement these new entitlements. This is likely to occur at some time after April 2024.