Auteur

Shireen Shaikh

Senior Counsel – Knowledge

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Auteur

Shireen Shaikh

Senior Counsel – Knowledge

Read More

19 juillet 2023

Law at Work - July 2023 – 1 de 4 Publications

Royal Assent for Bills on neonatal care, carer's leave and protection from redundancy

We reported on three Private Members' Bills in November's LAW and these have now received Royal Assent (May 2023): The Neonatal Care (Leave and Pay) Bill, Carer's Leave Bill and Protection from Redundancy (Pregnancy and Family Leave) Bill. 

Although regulations are yet to be published in respect of all three Acts, we have summarised at a glance the detail that is currently known about the ambit of the legislation. The Protection from Redundancy (Pregnancy and Family Leave) Act 2023 will come into force on 24 July 2023. It is not yet known when the other two Acts will come into force, although it is expected that the Carer's Leave Act will come into force in 2024 and the Neonatal Care (Leave and Pay) Act in 2025.

Neonatal Care (Leave and Pay) Act 2023 – key provisions at a glance

  • Qualifying period of 26 weeks' service.
  • Up to 12 weeks' neonatal leave and pay to be conferred.
  • Time spent in neonatal care must be at least seven days uninterrupted.
  • Neonatal leave to start the day after neonatal care begins.
  • Medical or palliative care (to be defined) must start within 28 days of the child's birth.
  • Leave to be taken within 68 weeks of the birth of the child.
  • Statutory pay for a week in line with SMP flat rate.
  • Employee will have to comply with notification requirements.
  • Employer will have record-keeping obligations.

Comment: This right to paid leave may overlap with other family leave entitlements, such as the right to maternity leave. Regulations may provide for when care is deemed to be continuous, which would avoid unattractive disputes about whether a short reprieve for a baby in crisis would disqualify a person from taking leave. Once the full detail of the eligibility and notification requirements are known, employers will want to add neonatal care to their suite of family-friendly policies. 

Carer's Leave Act 2023

  • No qualifying service.
  • One week a year unpaid leave (meaning five days).
  • Leave may be taken as half or whole days.
  • Carer means spouse, civil partner, child, parent, someone living in the same household or a person who reasonably relies on the person for care.
  • Care can mean providing or arranging care.
  • Person being cared for must have long-term health need (illness or injury which requires or is likely to require care for three months or more, or the person is disabled or requires care due to old age).
  • Self-certification (i.e. no need to evidence how carer's leave is being used).
  • Protection against detriment and dismissal for asserting these rights.

Comment: Although this leave may seem relatively minor, in that it is only for five days a year and is unpaid, it will have to be factored in to rota planning where a team has one or more carers. The protection from detriment and dismissal will be the area of hidden risk.

The Protection from Redundancy (Pregnancy and Family Leave) Act 2023  

We are familiar with the current landscape, which gives someone on maternity, adoption or shared parental leave, the right to be offered a suitable alternative vacancy (where one exists) in the event of redundancy. The Act will extend this protection so that it last for a certain period (likely to be six months) after the person has returned from leave. Pregnant women will also gain protection, they will not have to wait until maternity leave has started. It remains to be seen how the detail of this Act will be set out in Regulations.

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