May has seen Royal Assent be given to the Neonatal Care (Leave and Pay) Act 2023, the Protection from Redundancy (Pregnancy and Family Leave) Act 2023 and the Carer’s Leave Act 2023, all of which, when secondary legislation is in place, will increase the rights of working parents and carers:
- Provisions relating to leave and pay for neonatal care – up to 12 weeks’ leave where neonatal care starts within 28 days of birth and continues uninterrupted for at least 7 days - are not expected to be introduced until April 2025 (requiring a number of new statutory instruments to bring these into effect).
- Whilst the Protection from Redundancy (Pregnancy and Family Leave) Act 2023 will come into force at the end of the period of 2 months beginning with the day the Act was passed, again further regulations will be required to extend protection in the ways previously intimated. This includes extending the period during which protection applies from the point the employee notifies the employer of the pregnancy to 18 months after the birth.
- The introduction of carer’s leave, when in force, will give additional rights to unpaid leave to care for dependents. However, it has been reported that this will not be introduced before April 2024.
None of these changes have immediate effect but employers will need to ensure that they keep up to date with developments in these areas to avoid breaching minimum statutory rights when the secondary legislation is in place.