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Pictured from left to right: John Dunster (Co-Chair of Centrica’s Carers Network), Patrick McCarthy (Co-Chair of Centrica’s Carers Network), Helen Walker (Chief Executive, Carers UK), Wendy Chamberlain (MP for North East Fife), Angela Gibson (Senior Manager, Colleague Experience and Employment Policy, TSB) ©Jon Barlow

  • 36 MPs added their support for the Carer’s Leave Bill in person 
  • Carer’s Leave Bill is now supported by over 78 MPs cross-party, as well as employers, trade unions and employees. 
  • If successful, the Carer’s Leave Bill would give new rights to over 2 million employees who are juggling work and unpaid care.[1]

MPs from many different parties are backing a Private Member’s Bill on Carer’s Leave, which would see millions of unpaid carers who look after older, disabled or seriously ill relatives better supported in the workplace if successful. 

36 MPs attended a Westminster event on Wednesday 25th January 2023 which was hosted by the Bill’s sponsor, Wendy Chamberlain MP, supported by national charity Carers UK.  MPs met with unpaid carers from employers Centrica and TSB - which both have supportive workplace policies for unpaid carers - to better understand employers’ experiences of Carer’s Leave.  

The MPs also heard first-hand from unpaid carers about how the Carer’s Leave Bill will be pivotal in supporting them to juggle work and care. The Bill will reach Report Stage and Third Reading on 3rd of February 2023 in the House of Commons.  The Bill secured Government support at Second Reading. 

If successful, the Bill would give an estimated 2.4 million employees who are unpaid carers up to five days unpaid Carer’s Leave, to take time off work to provide care to family and friends.  

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. 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.” 

Wendy Chamberlain MP, Carer’s Leave Bill sponsor, said: 

“It was brilliant to be able to bring together MPs with carers and carer positive businesses today and demonstrate the benefits to everyone of Carer’s Leave. I want to thank everyone here today for their support. It shows that supporting Carer’s Leave is a pro-business and pro-carers position, and I hope that parliamentarians will see that by supporting my Carer’s Leave Bill next week.” 

Co-Chair of Centrica’s Carers Network, John Dunster, said:

 “Juggling work and unpaid care is a huge struggle for millions of working carers, not only emotionally but often financially too. Introducing statutory Carer’s Leave will make an enormous difference to peoples' lives. Our experience at Centrica, where we’ve gone a step further by providing paid leave, shows it’s not just the right thing to do, but that there is a clear business case for supporting carers, including savings from increased retention, and ensuring carers don’t have to take unplanned absences.” 

Liz Ashford, HR Director, TSB said: 

“As the only bank to offer paid Carer’s Leave, we’ve seen first-hand the positive difference it has made to colleagues at TSB with caring responsibilities. We therefore welcome the Carer’s Leave Bill and its ambition for more employers to provide this crucial support to those juggling work with unpaid caring responsibilities.” 

Research shows that: 

  • The stress and strain of having to juggle paid work alongside unpaid care has led to hundreds of thousands of people having to leave the labour market.[2]
  • Two-thirds of working carers who had taken unpaid leave said that it had made their caring role easier.[3]
  • ENDS 


[1] Family Resources Survey (2018/19)

[2] Carers UK (2019) Juggling work and care: a growing issue

[3] Ibid

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