Parents and carers to be given new employment protections
Government announces new set of measures for vulnerable workers
The Department for Business and Trade announced on 25 May new measures that will provide parents and unpaid carers with additional employment protections, following royal assent being granted for three private members bills.
The changes being introduced will see parents and carers benefit from: up to 12 weeks of paid neonatal care leave for employed parents whose children are admitted to neonatal care, in addition to other maternity and paternity leave and pay entitlements; redundancy protection for pregnant women and new parents with the extension of existing redundancy protections to cover pregnancy and a period of time after parents return to work; and a new entitlement for unpaid carers to a week of flexible unpaid leave a year, for employees who are caring for a dependant with a long-term care need.
The three new laws to receive royal asset are: the Neonatal Care (Leave and Pay) Act, introduced by Stuart C. McDonald MP; the Protection from Redundancy (Pregnancy and Family Leave) Act, introduced by Dan Jarvis MP; and the Carer’s Leave Act, introduced by Wendy Chamberlain MP.
Commenting on the announcement, Business Minister, Kevin Hollinrake, said: “We know how stressful it can be for parents caring for a new-born in neonatal care, or someone who is trying to juggle work with caring responsibilities, and these additional protections will ensure they get the support they need. Over the past year, we have proven our commitment to supporting workers across the UK, including raising the national living wage to its highest yet. Protecting and enhancing workers’ rights whilst supporting businesses to grow remains a priority for this government and a dynamic labour helps to drive up wages, employment and economic growth.”