Landmark bill will bolster the rights of carers
The right for employees to take up to one week of unpaid carer’s leave has securded vital government support.
The carer’s leave bill passed its second reading and if successful will see employees across Britain get a landmark new right to take up to one week of unpaid leave.
Wendy Chamberlain MP, sponsor of the bill said: “This is a landmark day for carers around the UK, marking the first step to secure employment rights designed to help people care and work.
“I am delighted to be bringing this bill, and to have gained the support of parliament today. Unpaid carers are the backbone of society and we must do all we can to support them. This is a vital part of that.
It also benefits businesses: increasing retention rates, productivity, and loyalty. Passing this bill will be a win-win.”
The private members bill, brought forward by Wendy Chamberlain MP, will proceed to committee stage and a small group of MPs will scrutinise the wording of the bill closely.
Richard Meade, director of Carers Scotland, said: “We’re thrilled that the carer’s leave bill has passed second reading – it is a monumental step forward for unpaid carers juggling their work with care for a relative who is older, disabled or seriously ill.
“Carers Scotland and Carers UK have campaigned for decades to get carers a right to carer’s leave – because the evidence shows it makes a huge difference to working carers’ lives.
“It allows them flexibility to better manage work alongside their caring responsibilities - for example, to help get their loved one to routine hospital appointments, or support them while they recover from an invasive operation.
“Carer’s leave also makes business sense: employers are better able to retain talent and skills within their staff teams and avoid additional recruitment costs and retention rates. The wider economic benefits could be significant.
“We look forward to continuing our work with Wendy Chamberlain and the government, and with MPs across all parties to ensure that this bill becomes law.”