Carer's Leave consultation
Carers Trust responded to the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) consultation on Carer’s Leave. Carer’s Leave was part of the Conservative Party Manifesto in the 2019 election.
The consultation set out proposals to bring in five days of unpaid leave for employees in paid employment as a way of helping unpaid carers to continue to work. The consultation invited views on the process by which these days could be taken, when it would be reasonable for carers to take Carer’s Leave and what the possible impact would be on employers and employees.
Carers Trust welcomed the government’s intention to bring in Carer’s Leave. We know that carers often struggle to balance their caring responsibilities with work, and the proposals will help many carers stay in employment.
However, Carers Trust also set out the need to strengthen the proposals:
- Strengthen the provisions by ensuring Carer’s Leave is paid – not unpaid as set out in the current proposals. We don’t believe carers should be penalised for needing to take time off to care. Carers on lower rates of pay are more likely to need paid Carer’s Leave.
- Five days of Carer’s Leave should be a statutory minimum. As a society, we need to retain carers within the workforce , so we want employers to go further and offer enhanced Carer’s Leave as part of wider benefits on offer to employees. The government should take steps to ensure Carer’s Leave, combined with carer-friendly workplace practices, such as flexible working or the use of Carer Passports, become one of the benefits that employers offer to be an attractive place to work.
- Carers Trust strongly believes carers should be able to use Carer’s Leave as flexibly as possible, for example in half-day blocks. Any other provisions (such as the idea that carers could take Carer’s Leave in just one 5-day block in the year) will mean these provisions do not fulfill their potential, and will not give carers the flexibility they need to balance work with their caring role.
If you’d like any more information about the response – please contact our Policy team.