Law at Work - July 2023 – 1 / 4 观点
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.
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.
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.
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.