Understanding the Upcoming Carers’ Leave Policy: A Guide for Business Owners


In an effort to support employees with caregiving responsibilities, the UK government has announced plans to introduce a new Carers’ Leave policy – this is expected in April 2024. This significant step acknowledges the challenges faced by working individuals who are also caring for a loved one. As a business owner, staying ahead of this change is crucial to ensure your organisation complies with the new regulations and to support your employees effectively. Here’s a straightforward guide to what you need to know about the upcoming Carers’ Leave policy.

What is the Carers’ Leave Policy?

The Carers’ Leave policy is a new statutory entitlement allowing employees who are caring for a family member or a loved one to take a week of leave. This initiative aims to provide carers with the flexibility they need to fulfil their caregiving responsibilities alongside their professional duties.

Key Features of the Policy

  • Eligibility: The policy is designed to support employees who are caring for a loved one with a long-term illness, disability, or age-related condition. To be eligible, employees must be considered ‘carers’ under the policy’s definition.
  • Duration: Eligible employees will be entitled to one week (up to 5 working days) of Carers’ Leave each year.
  • Type of Leave: The leave can be taken either in a single block or, subject to agreement with the employer, in shorter blocks or individual days to provide flexibility.
  • Pay: Carers’ Leave is initially proposed to be unpaid, aligning with other similar types of leave, such as parental leave. However, employers are encouraged to consider additional support for carers, including the possibility of paid leave.
  • Notification Requirements: Employees will need to adhere to specific notification requirements to take Carers’ Leave, including the amount of notice to be given and any evidence they might need to provide.

Implementation Timeline

Subject to parliamentary approval, the Carer’s Leave Regulations 2024 should come in April 2024. Business owners should stay updated with the official announcements for the exact dates and transitional arrangements.

How You Can Prepare

  1. Policy Update: Review and update your company’s leave policies to incorporate the new Carers’ Leave entitlement. Ensure that your policies reflect the specifics of the legislation, including eligibility criteria and leave arrangements.
  2. Training: Provide training for managers to familiarise them with the new leave policy. It’s important that they understand who is eligible for Carers’ Leave, how it can be taken, and how to manage requests fairly and sensitively.
  3. Communication: Develop a communication plan to inform all employees about the new Carers’ Leave policy. Clear communication can help ensure that eligible employees are aware of their rights and understand how to request Carers’ Leave.
  4. Support Systems: Consider establishing support systems for carers beyond the statutory leave entitlement. This could include flexible working arrangements, access to information and resources, or even emotional support through employee assistance programmes.


The introduction of the Carers’ Leave policy marks a significant step in supporting working carers. By preparing early, we can ensure a smooth transition to the new policy, providing much-needed support to employees with caregiving responsibilities.

If you would like support in rolling this policy out, please get in touch.

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