The Carer’s Leave Bill, which could see more than two million working carers get crucial access to one week of unpaid Carer’s Leave, has passed Report Stage and Third Reading in the House of Commons. The landmark Bill will now pass to the House of Lords for its next stages.
More than 78 MPs have supported this Private Member’s Bill, which was brought forward by Wendy Chamberlain MP, the Liberal Democrat MP for North East Fife, in June 2022.
Millions of unpaid working carers in the UK face the daily pressures of juggling their unpaid caring role with paid employment. The stresses and strain of doing so has meant hundreds of thousands of carers have had to leave the labour market – 600 people per day, on average. Many working carers have said that they are tired, stressed and struggling to manage their own physical and mental health as well.
This Bill would mean that eligible employees could take Carer’s Leave for planned and foreseen caring commitments for the very first time.
Helen Walker, Chief Executive of Carers UK said:
“Passing this Bill will be a really critical step forward for unpaid carers juggling work and care and it would benefit employers as well.
“Today, we are a step closer to securing greater recognition, rights and support for unpaid carers in the workplace, which has been a priority for Carers UK for decades.
“Carers need these rights. We know that two-thirds of working carers who have taken unpaid Carer’s Leave say that it has made their caring role easier, while 1 in 10 say they are at risk of reducing their hours or giving up work without access to it.
Employers who have Carer’s Leave are better able to retain staff and more carers could see staying in work as a viable option, bringing both short- and long-term financial benefits.
“We look forward to supporting the Bill’s passage through the House of Lords.”
Wendy Chamberlain MP, said:
“I am delighted that my Carer’s Leave Bill has now passed through the Commons. This is an amazing milestone on the way to giving millions of more people the support they need to stay in work.
“But this is also a starting point. A start for the Bill in the Lords, but also the start of conversations between employers and those who work for them about providing support, the start of campaigning for paid leave, and the start of a process in which we give carers the recognition and value they deserve.
“I look forward to supporting Lord Fox as he takes the Bill through the Lords, and to continuing the fight for a better deal for carers.”