In addition to the recent announcements about forthcoming changes to the law there are three other developments you need to have on your radar.
Find out what your business needs to know about new rights to neonatal leave and pay, carers’ leave and extended redundancy protection.
Here’s some fast facts about these changes that are on the horizon:
1. Neonatal leave and pay
The Neonatal Care (Leave and Pay) Act gives parents with responsibility for a child receiving neonatal care a statutory right to take up to 12 weeks’ leave in addition to other statutory leave entitlements, such as maternity and paternity leave. Neo-natal leave will be a day one right and employees will be protected from being dismissed or being subject to a detriment in connection with it.
Subject to meeting qualifying conditions, including having at least 26 weeks service, statutory neonatal care pay will be available.
Further regulations will be required to bring these provisions into force, amongst other things the regulations will:
- Define what is meant by neonatal care
- Set the duration of the leave and how and when it must be taken (which must be within a minimum of 68 weeks from the child’s date of birth)
- Prescribe the rate and duration of statutory neonatal care pay (which is expected to be at the same ‘statutory flat rate’ as for other types of statutory family leave pay or 90% of average weekly earnings if this is lower)
It has been indicated that the new neonatal leave and pay entitlements are expected to be delivered in April 2025.
2. Carer's Leave
The Carer’s Leave Act will entitle employees to take up to one week’s unpaid leave in any 12-month period to provide or arrange care for a dependent with a ‘long-term care need’. Carer’s leave will be able to be taken flexibly, in either individual days or half days.
Again, this will be a day one right and employees will be protected from being dismissed or being subject to a detriment in connection with it.
A date for implementation of the provisions of the Carer’s Leave Act is yet to be announced, but it has been reported that it is unlikely to be before April 2024.
3. Extension of Redundancy Protection
When the provisions of the Protection from Redundancy (Pregnancy and Family Leave) Act take effect the special enhanced protection for employees on maternity, adoption or shared parental leave to be offered suitable alternative employment in a redundancy situation will be extended.
It will also cover pregnancy and a period of time (six months) after a new parent has returned to work.
During this time, before making such an employee redundant businesses will be required to offer them as a priority a suitable alternative vacancy if one exists.
It’s not yet clear when the new protections will be in place as further regulations will be required to bring the provisions into force.
We will keep you up to date with developments, in the meantime if you have a HR matter your business would like help with, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.