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Government Proposals for Parents, Pregnant Employees and Carers

May 26, 2023

On 24 May 2023, the Government confirmed that three Private Members’ Bills (PMB) have received Royal Assent.

What’s occurring?

Parents and carers will benefit from the following new protections:

– Eligible employed parents, whose children are admitted to neo-natal care, will be entitled to take up to 12 weeks’ paid leave so that they can spend more time with their baby.

– There will be an extension of redundancy protection for pregnant women and new parents with the extended periods to cover pregnancy in addition to a period of time after the parents return to work.

– A new statutory entitlement will be created for one week of flexible unpaid leave per year for employees who are caring for a dependent with a long-term care need.

What will this mean?

When in force, this new legislation will hopefully assist increasing workforce participation, protecting vulnerable workers and “level up” the playing field by ensuring that unprincipled employers do not have a competitive advantage.

These new PMBs have been welcomed by charities who state that parents and unpaid carers require further protection in the workplace.

When is this occurring?

PMBs do not become law until they are introduced by legislation. Therefore, until the “secondary legislation” is drafted and approved, there is no timescale for this to take effect.

Many employers have already identified employees with caring responsibilities and put proactive measures in place around childcare.

Watch this space for more updates…

The opinions expressed in this site are of the author(s) only and do not necessarily represent the opinions of Blackadders LLP.

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