New Carer’s Leave Regulations

On 6th April 2024, the new Carer’s Leave Regulations come into force. The Regulations will give employees a right to take up to one week of statutory unpaid carer’s leave within a 12 month period to care for or to arrange care for dependants with long-term care requirements.

In order to be eligible for carer’s leave under the Regulations, the following criteria must be satisfied:

  • The employee would need to have a dependant with long-term care needs;
  • The employee would want to take time off work to provide or arrange care for that dependant; and
  • The employee must not have already exceeded their statutory entitlement to carer’s leave.

Eligible employees will need to give their employer notice before taking carer’s leave. Where a request is for half a day or a full day, the employee must give at least 3 days’ notice. If the request is for more than one day, the notice period must be at least twice as long as the requested leave. For instance, if a request is for 2 days’ leave, the employee must give at least 4 days’ notice. A request for carer’s leave does not need to be in writing. 

Employees can take up to one week of leave every 12 months, with a “week” meaning the length of time an employee usually works over a 7 day period. For example, if an employee usually works 3 days a week, they can take 3 days of carer’s leave. The leave can be taken as half days or full days and does not need to be taken on consecutive days. 

It is important to note that employers cannot refuse a carer’s leave request, but can ask the employee to postpone the carer’s leave if it will unduly disrupt the needs of the business. If an employer wishes to delay the carer’s leave, the employer must agree another date within one month of the requested date for the leave. In addition, the employer must put the reason for the delay and the new date in writing to the employee within 7 days of the original request, and before the requested start date of the leave. 

Whilst absent on carer’s leave, an employee’s employment rights and contractual benefits are protected, with the exception of remuneration. Employees will also be entitled to return to their same job after the period of carer’s leave. 

Finally, if the employee has a contractual right to carer’s leave, they will not be entitled to both statutory and contractual carer’s leave, but they may take advantage of whichever right is more favourable to them.

Please note that this is a very brief summary of the changes to carers’ leave rights. The contents of this article do not constitute legal advice.  If you require any further information or if you would like our assistance in amending any policy please contact us at or on 02920 345 511