1. The Neo-Natal Care (Leave & Pay) Act 2023 has now been passed and is going to introduce up to 12 weeks of paid leave to parents, in addition to other leave entitlements such as maternity and paternity leave, in order to spend more time with their baby who has been born prematurely or sick and is receiving neo-natal care in hospital, for example. The right will be available to employees from their first day of work and applies to parents of babies who are admitted to hospital for neo-natal care up to the age of 28 days and have a continuous stay in hospital of 7 full days or more. There are a number of statutory instruments to be laid to bring it into effect, and it is not expected that the entitlements will come into being until April 2025.

2. The Carer’s Leave Act 2023 is not expected to come into being before April 2024. This introduces a right to up to one week’s unpaid leave per year for employees who are providing or arranging care for a dependent with a long-term care need.

3. Finally, the Protection from Redundancy (Pregnancy and Family Leave) Act 2023 will come into force “in due course” once new regulations have been made to implement the proposed new provisions. The Act provides for additional protection from redundancy during pregnancy and maternity and other types of family related leave. In the case of a woman on maternity leave, redundancy protection will be extended such that there is an entitlement to be offered a suitable alternative vacancy if her role was redundant, where one exists, from the date she notifies the employer in writing of her pregnancy to six months after her return from maternity leave (in contrast to the current protection which ends at the end of maternity leave).

We will keep you informed as to when these various new measures are rolled out. If require any advice in the meantime, please contact the Employment Team.