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Celebrations as Carer’s Leave Bill receives royal assent

The Carers’ Leave Bill has received royal assent this week, in a historic win for carers across the UK.

This Bill will give employees the right to take unpaid leave from work to care for older, disabled or seriously ill relatives or friends has received its Royal Assent.

An estimated two million employees in the UK are currently juggling paid employment with caring responsibilities. The new Bill gives them the right to take up to five days on unpaid leave to support their loved ones.

The charity Carers UK has been campaigning for this Bill for many years.

The CEO of Carers UK Helen Walker said: “This is a historic moment for unpaid carers and Carers UK’s decades-long campaign to improve working carers’ rights – we know many of them will be delighted by this new law.

“The evidence is clear: being able to take leave from work to support an older, disabled or seriously ill relative makes a huge difference to carers’ lives and can help them stay in paid work.

“Managing these dual responsibilities is often stressful and demanding. Being able to use Carer’s Leave will remove guilt for many workers needing to take some time out to care, or having to use their annual leave – their own rest time.

“There are big benefits for businesses too – those who have already introduced Carer’s Leave have seen reduced recruitment costs and improved staff retention and wellbeing.

“With our ageing demographic, and loved ones with illnesses and disabilities living for longer, the majority of us can expect to care for a loved one in our working lives. This legislation sets us up for the future and we hope it will see employers give greater consideration to the needs of carers in their workforces.”