Employment law updates: Extension of protections and paid leave for parents and carers

On 24 May 2023, three acts extending protections for parents and carers received Royal Assent: 

The Neonatal Care (Leave and Pay) Act  

This act allows up to 12 weeks paid leave for employed parents with a baby that is admitted to neonatal care (28 days old or less). This is in addition to standard maternity and paternity leave entitlements. The entitlement will be a day one right, subject to certain continuous service and minimum earnings requirements. 

The new rights are expected to come into force in April 2025. 

The Protection from Redundancy (Pregnancy and Family Leave) Act  

This extends existing redundancy protections whilst on maternity leave, adoption leave or Shared Parental Leave, to also cover pregnancy and a period of time after maternity leave has ended. The exact duration will be set out in secondary legislation. 

This act is expected to come into force in July 2023. 

The Carer’s Leave Act 

This creates a new statutory unpaid leave entitlement for unpaid carers of a dependant with a long-term care need. Employees (not workers) will have a day one right to take up to five working days of unpaid leave a year. 

This act is not expected to take effect until April 2024. 

These new laws aim to increase workforce participation and protect vulnerable workers. 

Secondary legislation providing the commencement dates for each act will be laid down in due course. 

Upcoming changes  

The Worker Protection (Amendment of Equality Act 2010) Bill, which is likely to come into force in 2024, will expand anti-harassment provisions relating to the workplace. It will require businesses to take actions to prevent sexual harassment, including training, in order to demonstrate a zero-tolerance approach. 

Keep up to date with the latest developments on our timetable of recent and forthcoming legislation.  




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