Parliament has passed the final legislation for the Carer’s Leave Act 2023, providing a crucial new right for two million employees in Great Britain with unpaid caring responsibilities.

The law, set to come into force on April 6, 2024, allows eligible individuals to take up to five days of unpaid Carer’s Leave.

The regulations specify that employees with long-term unpaid caring responsibilities for a family member or friend will be entitled to this leave, with employment protections similar to those associated with other family-related leaves, safeguarding against dismissal due to leave taken.

Employees have the flexibility to take Carer’s Leave in full or half days or as a continuous block of five days, provided they provide advance notice twice the length of time they intend to take.

The Carers UK organisation, leading the campaign for this legal right, expressed delight at the finalisation of the regulations, anticipating positive impacts on both working carers and businesses.

A “vital moment”

Helen Walker, chief executive of Carers UK, stated, “Passing the regulations associated with the Carer’s Leave Act is a vital moment – setting in stone the process for working carers requesting Carer’s Leave from their employer. This brand new right will help many more carers stay in work, and support businesses to retain their staff too.”

The legislation, championed by Wendy Chamberlain MP, who introduced the Carer’s Leave Act in the House of Commons, is considered a significant step towards recognising the invaluable contribution of unpaid carers. Chamberlain expressed gratitude to Carers UK for their support throughout the legislative process.

Wendy Chamberlain MP commented, “The Act gives carers up to five days of unpaid leave a year. Although I would like to see this doubled to 10 days and paid, it is a great start in beginning the process for improving carer’s rights.”

A “tremendous step forward”

Chris O’Shea, Group Chief Executive at Centrica, emphasised the positive impact of statutory carer’s leave, stating, “Introduction of statutory carer’s leave through the Carer’s Leave Act is a tremendous step forward, which will make an enormous difference to peoples’ lives.”

Carers UK encourages employers to familiarise themselves with the new Act through the Employers for Carers website, emphasising the business case for supporting working carers.

The Carer’s Leave Act 2023, initially presented as a Private Member’s Bill by Wendy Chamberlain MP, received Royal Assent in May 2023. The associated regulations, part of a Statutory Instrument, have now been successfully passed by Parliament.





Amelia Brand is the Editor for HRreview, and host of the HR in Review podcast series. With a Master’s degree in Legal and Political Theory, her particular interests within HR include employment law, DE&I, and wellbeing within the workplace. Prior to working with HRreview, Amelia was Sub-Editor of a magazine, and Editor of the Environmental Justice Project at University College London, writing and overseeing articles into UCL’s weekly newsletter. Her previous academic work has focused on philosophy, politics and law, with a special focus on how artificial intelligence will feature in the future.