Legislation changes to unpaid carers leave

Following the Carer’s Leave Act 2023 receiving Royal Assent on 24 May 2023, the new legislation is expected to come into force in April 2024.

28 March 2024

From 6 April 2024, employees will be entitled to up to one week of unpaid leave to give or arrange care for a dependent. The dependant does not have to be a family member, it can be anyone who relies on them for care, who has:

  • a physical or mental illness or injury that means they’re expected to need care for more than three months
  • a disability (as defined in the Equality Act 2010)
  • care needs because of their old age.

Key changes include:

  • Day one right for employees. 
  • Employees will not be required to provide evidence or explain how the leave will be used.
  • Up to one week of unpaid carer's leave per year.
  • Unpaid leave can be taken from half a day up to and including one whole week of leave.

Section 33.23 of the NHS Terms of Conditions of Service Handbook will be updated to reflect the changes to the regulations. 

Next steps for employers

Employers will need to review local policies and procedures in partnership with staff sides to ensure compliance with the legislation changes.  

Read the Carers Leave Regulations 2024.