On the 6th of April 2024, the Carers Leave Act will become law. With it, we will see all employees across the UK gain entitlement to time off from work in order to provide care to their loved ones.

In the post we'll cover lots of frequently asked questions about the Carers Leave Act and what carers are entitled to. For more information, please visit Carers UK's website >>.

Frequently Asked Questions about the Carers Leave Act

What does the Carer's Leave Act mean for working carers?

The Carer's Leave Act means that all employees will be entitled to one work week of unpaid leave in order to look after a vulnerable loved one who has a long-term care need. Full-time, Monday - Friday employees can take up to 5 days of unpaid carer's leave per year.

Often unpaid carers will use up annual leave to care for a loved one. Time which should be spent on taking time off for yourself was instead being used to provide unpaid care. The Carers Leave Act aims to bridge some of the gap between this by offering one week of unpaid leave.

Can a carer take multiple days off using unpaid carers leave?

Yes. Please also note that the amount of notice an employee needs to give their employer will increase depending on how much unpaid carers leave they plan to take.

  • 0.5 Day Unpaid Carer's Leave requires 3 Days' notice
  • 1 Day Unpaid Carer's Leave requires 3 Days' notice
  • 2 Days Unpaid Carer's Leave requires 4 Days' notice
  • 3 Days Unpaid Carer's Leave requires 6 Days' notice
  • 4 Days Unpaid Carer's Leave requires 8 Days' notice
  • 5 Days Unpaid Carer's Leave requires 10 Days' notice

(when requesting a half-day of Unpaid Carer's Leave, employees should round up to the nearest whole number and use the equivalent amount of notice, e.g. 3.5 days of leave requires 8 days' notice, the same as 4 days of leave).

Are parents classed as carers?

No. There are different workplace laws in place for parents such as unpaid parental leave. This would only apply if their child is disabled or has a long-term illness.

How can employers prepare to support their employees who are carers?

In Gateshead, there is an estimated 25,000 unpaid carers, that's roughly 13% of the town's population. Employers can help employees who are carers by ensuring they feel recognised and valued.

By making caring visible in your workplace can help employees identify themselves as unpaid carers. By doing so, they can then learn about what rights they have and what support is available to them to help make their lives easier.