Carer's Leave: Open Government Consultation

The government is currently running a consultation to seek views on a proposal to give employees with caring responsibilities one week of unpaid leave each year.
Parents and carers

The consultation aims to find out:

  • how carers use existing employment rights
  • who should be eligible to take the leave
  • what the leave can be taken for
  • how the leave would be available to take and the process for taking the leave
  • the costs and benefits to employers and employees

Our response:

We completed a survey based on our interactions with carers.  Our engagement with parents and carers of children and young people with disabilities, and our discussions with family members caring for those living with dementia tell us how stressful the demands of everyday life can be.  Nearly all the carers we talk to tell us their mental and physical health suffers because they put other people's needs above their own.

It's important to consider ways in which stress and poor mental health may be reduced, or at least not made worse, because a carer chooses to work. We are therefore in favour of one week of unpaid leave that is flexible and responsive to a carer’s situation. We believe that this should not be related to length of employment but should begin from day one, because the nature of caring may sometimes need an immediate response.

Where possible, carers should negotiate leave with an employer and give as much notice as possible.  As an employer, being prepared to make these reasonable adjustments for carers could mean better working relations that increase productivity, staff retainment and good employer reputation.

This consultation is now closed.

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