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  • HR Heartbeat: Upcoming changes to Neonatal Leave, Carer’s Leave, and Redundancy Protection

HR Heartbeat: Upcoming changes to Neonatal Leave, Carer’s Leave, and Redundancy Protection

Read this week’s HR Heartbeat and stay ahead of the trends with insights and advice on major employment law changes to key family policies in 2024.

First published on Thursday, Jun 01, 2023

Last updated on Monday, May 29, 2023

3 min read

Have you heard the latest news?

Welcome to HR Heartbeat, where we give you a rundown of the week's top employment law stories. Stay on the pulse of current trends impacting your business, plus get up-to-the-minute commentaries on all things HR and legal.

So, let’s check out this week’s headlines…

1. Carer’s Leave made into law

The new laws due on Carer’s Leave got Royal Assent last week, in the Carer’s Leave Act 2023. Under the new law, employees with specific caring responsibilities will be able to take 5 days of unpaid leave per year from day one.

But implementation of the law isn’t expected until 2024 and further regulations are needed before employees get the right to take carer’s leave.

Currently, there is no legal obligation for employers to provide time off to employees who have caring responsibilities. So, a request for this kind of leave can be refused. However, before you think about refusing, it’s advisable you explore how you can support employees with caring responsibilities to avoid any conflict.

Learn more about Carer’s Leave.

*2. Neonatal Care (Leave and Pay) Act *

It’s expected that parents will be able to take Neonatal Leave from October 2024. Under the new law, parents of newborns will be able to take up to 12 weeks of extra time off on top of maternity and paternity leave if their baby needs neonatal care for more than one week before they’re 28 days old.

Leave will be available from day one and will be paid at the same rate as other family leave provided the employee meets certain criteria, including reaching 26 weeks of service.

For more advice, ask BrightHR Lightning: is neonatal leave a statutory entitlement?

3. Redundancy protection for pregnant employees gets Royal Assent

Another proposal made into law last week is the *Protection from Redundancy (Pregnancy and Family Leave) Act 2023. *

Currently, employees on maternity leave have greater protection against redundancy than pregnant employees.This new law will extend the protection given during the redundancy process to pregnant employees.

Alongside employees who are pregnant, it will also apply to parents for a period of 18 months after their baby is born, as well as employees on adoption leave and shared parental leave.

Further Regulations are needed before this new right comes into effect and it’s expected this will be in 2024.

And that’s a wrap. Tune in next week for more headlines and make sure you stay ahead of major employment law changes!

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