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GREAT BRITAIN: HAT TRICK OF NEW BILLS BECOME LAW

05/06/2023

GREAT BRITAIN: HAT TRICK OF NEW BILLS BECOME LAW

On 24 May 2023 three Private Member employment related Bills received Royal Assent and passed into law.

In its press release, Workers’ rights wins for parents and carers the Department for Business and Trade said that this follows a wave of wins for workers after a record National Minimum Wage uplift and measures to ensure staff can keep their hard-earned tips. These new laws mean parents and carers will have new protections at work, covering leave entitlement and redundancy rules.

The New Acts that apply in GB are:

 

  1. Neonatal Care (Leave And Pay) Act 2023


This is a Day 1 Right for parents to take up to 12 weeks of paid (statutory) leave if:

  • the baby is born prematurely or;
  • the baby is sick and is cared for in hospital or other care setting for babies up to 28 days old, and who stay in hospital for 7 or more days.

The purpose of this Act is to that they can spend more time with their baby at what is a hugely stressful time. This is in addition to other leave and pay entitlements such as maternity and paternity.

  1. Carer’s Leave Act 2023

When implemented this will entitle all unpaid carers to one week’s flexible unpaid leave per year to deal with caring responsibilities for a dependant with a long-term care need. The government states that this will enable carers to better balance their caring and work responsibilities, supporting them to remain in employment. 

  1. Protection from Redundancy (Pregnancy & Family Leave) Act 2023

    This allows for Regulations to be made that will extend redundancy protection from the date the employee notifies their employer of pregnancy until (what is believed will be) six months after end of leave. Currently, employees have special protection during their maternity leave.

General

There are currently no implementation dates at present for any of these new rights to come into force. Importantly the new laws only to England, Scotland and Wales. It will be for the Northern Ireland Assembly to decide whether similar provisions should apply in Northern Ireland.