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Private Member’s Bill seeks new rights at work for unpaid carers

15 June 2022
  • Millions of working carers could benefit from the new rights
  • Welcomed by Carers UK and Employers for Carers

Today, Wendy Chamberlain MP, announced her intention to introduce landmark new rights for unpaid carers in the workplace with a Private Member’s Bill after coming tenth in the ballot.

The Bill, entitled the Carer’s Leave Bill, seeks to introduce a right to unpaid leave for employees with caring responsibilities.

Helen Walker, Chief Executive, Carers UK, said:

“We are really pleased that Wendy Chamberlain MP has decided to focus on the needs of unpaid carers at such a crucial time. As we learn to live with Covid-19 and during the cost of living crisis, there has never been a more important time to ensure that carers are able to juggle work and care. Although the right proposed would be unpaid, it would bring hugely important awareness to the role of unpaid carers within the workplace. For a long time, we have campaigned for carer’s rights at work and we hope that this will receive strong Government support across both Houses of Parliament.

“In the longer term, we would like to see Carer’s Leave paid but passing this Bill would be a very important step in recognising and supporting carers in employment.

“We look forward to working closely with Wendy Chamberlain MP to make this Private Member’s Bill a success.”

Katherine Wilson, Head of Employers for Carers, said:

“Employers who already have Carer’s Leave in place say that it’s a win:win situation, to support and retain key employees in the workplace, helping to keep business going and avoiding extra costs. The most forward-thinking employers go one step further and have provided Carer’s Leave as a paid entitlement.”

Wendy Chamberlain MP said:

“Unpaid carers are the absolute backbone of our society. It is estimated that at least 2.3 million working carers who could be eligible for leave under this bill: a huge number of people who currently receive far too little support. This bill will help carers juggle work and care whilst supporting employers to maximise retention and wellbeing. Passing it will be a significant step forwards from all sides. I am so excited to bring forward this bill and to have the support of Carers UK on this journey.”

-ENDS-


Media contacts

Please contact the Carers UK press office on:

  • 020 7378 4937 (9am-5pm, Monday-Friday)
  • 07305 040587/07941 273108 (out of hours)
  • This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Notes to Editors:

  • Wendy Chamberlain MP is the Liberal Democrat MP for North East Fife and came 10th in the Private Member’s Bill Ballot.
  • The Bill’s short title is the “Carer’s Leave Bill”. The long title is, “A Bill to make provision about unpaid leave for employees with caring responsibilities”. The Bill will be published a later date and this will provide more detail.
  • In November 2021, Carers UK research[i] found that 56% of carers said they needed unpaid Carer’s Leave and that a further 1 in 7 workers who were carers were at risk of reducing working hours or giving up work altogether if they didn’t get it.
  • There are an estimated 2.34 million employees who are unpaid carers in the Family Resources Survey (2016/17).
  • Carer’s Leave was part of the Conservative manifesto – up to one week’s unpaid leave for employees with caring responsibilities for older, ill and disabled people.

 About Carers UK

Carers UK is a charity led by carers, for carers – our mission is to make life better for carers.

  • We give expert advice, information, and support
  • We connect carers so no-one must care alone
  • We campaign together for lasting change
  • We innovate to find new ways to reach and support carers

For practical advice and information about caring, go to www.carersuk.org or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call our helpline 0808 808 7777.

We have developed specific information to support carers during the coronavirus pandemic at: https://www.carersuk.org/coronavirus.

The Carers UK Forum is our online community of carers and is available to Carers UK members 24 hours a day, 365 days a year: www.carersuk.org/forum.

Website: www.carersuk.org

Facebook:  www.facebook.com/carersuk

Twitter: @CarersUK

Carers UK is a charity registered in England and Wales (246329) and in Scotland (SC039307) and a company limited by guarantee registered in England and Wales (864097).

 

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