The Prime Minister has today (19th July 2019) launched a consultation on parental leave entitlements called Good Work Plan: Proposals to support families. The consultation addresses statutory paternity leave for fathers and neonatal leave for parents of premature and sick babies, but does not address care leave for unpaid carers that the Government has promised to consult on.
Commenting on the report, Emily Holzhausen OBE, Director of Policy and Public Affairs at Carers UK, said:
“It is incredibly disappointing that, only 17 days after the Government reaffirmed its commitment to consulting on care leave for the millions of people in this country juggling work and care for a loved one, this has not been included in the consultation on leave entitlements today.
“The Prime Minister writes about addressing the gender pay gap and introducing leave entitlements that reflect modern families. Yet she has failed to account for millions of families caring for older or disabled relatives, and the fact that 2.6 million people – many of them women – have given up work to care for a loved one, enduring devastating financial consequences as a result and facing huge difficulties returning to work.
“With 1 in 7 of the UK workforce now juggling their job and caring responsibilities, the next Prime Minister must commit to introducing better workplace rights for carers. By providing a right of at least five to ten days of paid care leave, as well as flexible working from day one of starting a job, businesses not only see better retention and productivity but also support carers to stay in work.
“After two years of deliberating the Government has also failed to deliver its green paper on adult social care funding. Short and longer term funding must also now be a priority so that carers have confidence in the commitments made by Government.”