Carers UK responds to Government proposals for flexible working and unpaid leave for carers

Thursday, 23 September 2021

The Government has set out new proposals to make the right to request flexible working a day one entitlement for every employee in Britain.

It will also introduce a day one right to one-week’s unpaid leave for carers balancing a job with caring responsibilities.

Helen Walker, Chief Executive of Carers UK, said:

With our ageing population and people working for longer, millions of people in the UK are now juggling their job with caring for someone who is older, disabled or seriously ill – it is fast becoming one of the most pressing employment issues of our time.

“It is an incredibly demanding balancing act and without support from employers can be too much to manage. Carers UK’s own research shows that pre-pandemic, every single day more than 600 people across the UK were giving up work to care for a loved one – with a devastating impact on their personal finances and at a huge cost to the wider UK economy. Businesses continue to lose some of their most skilled and experienced employees.

“Giving employees with caring responsibilities a legal right to unpaid carer’s leave and the ability to request flexible working from day one of starting their job is an important step forward for UK workers and could make a difference to millions – enabling carers to support their relatives whilst staying in work, maintaining social connections and improving their financial stability.

“Good quality care and support services are also a key condition for many people’s employment so it’s more important than ever that the Government’s white paper delivers the social care reform that families desperately need.”

If you would like to read the Government's response to the carers leave consultation, please click here.

You can also read the Government's consultation paper on ‘Making flexible working the default’, which can be viewed here and closes on 1 December 2021. 

Source: Carers UK