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Three new family friendly acts have been given royal assent including Carer’s Leave Act 2023, Protection from Redundancy (Pregnancy and Family Leave) Act 2023 and Neonatal Care (Leave and Pay) Act 2023.

The specific details of each of the new family friendly rights, along with the commencement dates, are yet to be confirmed, however, we have provided a summary below outlining what we anticipate.

Carer’s Leave Act 2023

This new act will provide a new flexible entitlement of one-week unpaid leave per year for employees who are providing, or arranging, care for a dependant with a long-term care need.​

This will be a day one right for employees subject to specified notice periods. The leave can be taken flexibly as half days or full days over a 12-month period. There will be no requirement for the employee to provide evidence other than self-certification.

Currently there is no dedicated statutory leave entitlement for informal carers and many resort to taking other leave to ensure they can care for those dependent on them, such as annual leave.

It is not yet clear when the new right will come into effect however it is unlikely to take effect before April 2024.

Protection from Redundancy (Pregnancy and Family Leave) Act 2023

This new legislation looks to extend the current protections which are afforded to those employees who are on maternity leave.

Currently, employees on maternity leave must be given priority for suitable alternative employment (where a vacancy exists) in a redundancy situation.  An employer’s failure to offer suitable alternative employment may result in the employee’s redundancy being automatically unfair and may give rise to discrimination on the grounds of pregnancy and/or maternity under the Equality Act 2010.​

This period of protection is however limited to the duration of the employee’s maternity leave, and there is no current protection to employee’s who have returned from maternity leave.

Under the new legislation, the period of protection will be extended and will protect expectant employees from the moment they inform their employer they are pregnant until 18 months after birth. 

This right will also be extended to parents taking adoption or shared parental leave who will be protected once they notify their employer of their match for adoption or intention to take shared parental leave and for a period of 18 months from the start of that leave. ​

Neonatal Care (Leave and Pay) Act 2023

This will allow parents whose babies need neonatal hospital care additional paid leave of up to 12 weeks in addition to their statutory maternity or paternity leave. This is to allow parents the ability to spend more time with their baby during this stressful period of time.

Once in law, this right will be available from day one of employment. It will apply to parents whose babies are admitted to hospital up to the age of 28 days and to babies who need to stay in hospital for 7 continuous days or more.​

The new legislation will also fit in alongside shared parental leave so that parents can have flexibility as to how they take leave after the birth of their child.​

Contact our employment law solicitors to ensure your business is compliant

If you or your business require advice relating to the latest changes to employment law including any of the changes outlined above, our employment lawyers will be happy to assist you. Please contact our solicitors today by completing the enquiry form below.

Key Contact

Debbie Coyne

Debbie Coyne

Employment Law Senior Associate Solicitor

Debbie is a Senior Associate in the Employment team who regularly attends our offices in Altrincham, Warrington and Chester.  She is recommended in The Legal 500 and has been named as a Rising Star.

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