New employment protections for parents and carers

Parents and unpaid carers are set to receive new employment protections. These new rights derive from three Government backed Private Members Bills that received royal assent last week. The secondary legislation, giving the flesh on the bones (and the commencement dates for each new right) will be laid down in due course.

Parents and carers will benefit from the following new protections once in force:

  • Up to 12 weeks of paid neonatal care leave for employed parents whose children are admitted to neonatal care, to enable them to spend more time with their baby. This is in addition to other leave and pay entitlements such as maternity and paternity.
  • Redundancy protection for pregnant women and new parents. The existing redundancy protections on Maternity Leave, Adoption Leave or Shared Parental Leave are extended to also cover pregnancy and a period of time after parents return to work.
  • A new statutory unpaid leave entitlement for employees who are caring for a dependant with a long-term care need. This will enable carers to better balance their caring and work responsibilities, supporting them to remain in employment.

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