Bills setting out new employment rights receive Royal Assent
Private Members Bills setting out new employment law rights to neonatal care leave and pay, carers leave, and enhanced redundancy protection have received Royal Assent. The Government will now introduce regulations to implement the new entitlements.
Employed parents whose children are admitted to neonatal care will be entitled to up to 12 weeks of paid neonatal care leave. It is anticipated that approximately seven statutory instruments will be needed to deliver the new entitlements, and these will be laid ‘in due course’. The regulations will include provision for the extent of an employee’s entitlement and when leave may be taken. It is expected that the new neonatal leave and pay entitlements will be delivered in April 2025.
Employees caring for a dependent with a long-term care need will be entitled to a week of flexible unpaid leave a year. Regulations will set out the extent of the employee’s entitlement to leave and when it may be taken. The date for implementation is yet to be announced, but it has been reported that this date will not be before April 2024.
Enhanced protection from redundancy
Currently, a woman on maternity leave is entitled, if her role is being made redundant, to be offered alternative employment in any suitable vacancy available. This gives an employee on maternity leave priority over other employees who are also at risk of redundancy.
Pregnant women and new parents will have extended protection in a redundancy situation, which will cover the pregnancy and a period of time after they return to work. The Act will come into force at end of two months from the day on which the Act was passed, which was 24 May 2023.
We will bring you further details of the regulations as they are published.
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