New family-friendly employment law protections

On 24th May 2023, the Neonatal Care (Leave and Pay) Bill, Carer’s Leave Bill and Protection from Redundancy (Pregnancy and Family Leave) Bill received Royal Assent.

Subject to the passage of secondary legislation required to implement these entitlements, the new legislation will:

Neonatal Care (Leave and Pay) Act 2023

  • Introduce 12 weeks of paid leave for eligible parents whose child is admitted to neonatal care. Employees will also retain entitlement to other leave entitlements such as maternity and paternity leave (subject to eligibility).
  • Expected to come into force in April 2025.

Protection from Redundancy (Pregnancy and Family Leave) Act 2023

  • Allow for the extension of existing redundancy protections to cover pregnancy and a period of time after parents return to work.
  • Will come into force at the end of the period of two months beginning with the day on which the Act was passed.

Carer’s Leave Act 2023

  • Introduce a new statutory entitlement for unpaid carers to one week of flexible unpaid leave per year. This will be available for employees who are caring for a dependant with a long-term care need.
  • A date for its implementation is yet to be announced, it has been reported however that this date will not be before April 2024.

This new legislation aims to increase workforce participation by enabling those with caring responsibilities to better balance their work and caring responsibilities at particularly difficult times, through these additional leave entitlements.

In addition, the extension of existing redundancy protections during maternity, adoption and shared parental leave aims to protect employees in the workplace who are in more vulnerable positions and to combat discriminatory practices.

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Legal 500