The Carer’s Leave Bill, which would entitle carers in the UK to one week of unpaid leave a year, has been passed by the House of Commons and will now go to the House of Lords. The Private Member’s Bill was brought forward by Wendy Chamberlain MP in June 2022, Care Home Professional reports.
The Bill received the backing of over 78 MPs in the House of Commons earlier this year. It is estimated that 2.4 million people in the UK carry out unpaid carer’s roles for family members, neighbours, or friends. Many of these people combine caring with a full time job, and the new Bill would entitle them to five unpaid days leave per year.
Helen Walker, Chief Executive of Carers UK said: “It was wonderful to see so many MPs across the board attending our event – it is essential that the Carer’s Leave Bill gets as much support as possible. Its passage would enable millions of unpaid carers to be better supported to stay in work and would recognise the vital role they play.”
She added: “We have campaigned and advocated for unpaid carers to have these rights for decades. The evidence from employers in our Employers for Carers network show that it’s a real win-win situation for both employers and for unpaid carers. That’s why it’s vital that MPs show their support for the Bill at Report Stage and Third Reading on 3rd February.”
Caring for a loved one because of age, disability, or illness can be both physically and emotionally demanding. Many people leave the workforce altogether because of the pressures of combining caring with their career, and it is hoped that the new legislation will make it easier for them to manage both roles.
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