In this article, Head of Operations, Kendal Hulme provides a legal update for October 2022 involving the Carer’s Leave and Protection from Redundancy (Pregnancy and Family Leave) Bill.
On the 21st October 2022 two new employment rights had their second reading before Parliament. The Bills include enhanced redundancy protection for new parents and pregnant employees and The Carer’s Leave Bill. The timeframe and deadline are yet to be revealed, but it is certain that they will happen.
Carer’s leave will enable employees who have caring responsibilities to have one week (5 working days) a year unpaid leave to support those that they care for. This will be a day one right for all employees, regardless of length of service.
The leave can be taken flexibly, in half or full individual days, or in an entire week block and no evidence will be required to be shown when requesting the time off. It is anticipated that management should not unreasonably refuse the time off and that any refusals must be objectively justified.
Taking the leave will carry the same protections currently in place for situations such as family related leave, meaning the employee will be protected from dismissal or disciplinary action for taking the time off.
As it currently stands employers have an obligation to offer suitable alternative vacancies (where one exists) to an employee on maternity leave, shared parental leave and adoption leave, before offering the redundancy. However, under the new Bill this protection will also be offered to pregnant women in addition to new parents in an effort by the government to prevent discrimination in the workplace and support in job security.
The length of time the enhanced protection will be in place is an 18-month period from when the mother to be informs her employer she is pregnant, this will ensure that the protection spans an additional 6 months should she take a year of maternity leave. Included in this window will also be Shared Parental Leave and Adoption Leave.
If you would like to discuss the new Bills and how they may affect your business, or you would like to know more about how we can help you, get in contact with our team of experts today.
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