Government should move to introduce statutory carers leave without delay

by | Jun 18, 2022

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The UK Government should press ahead with plans to introduce five days statutory carers leave despite the deferment of the Employment Bill, the Government’s Business Champion for Ageing Society and Older Workers has said.

Plans to introduce five days statutory unpaid carers leave – which would see businesses legally obliged to release staff for five days of caring responsibilities a year – had been expected in the Employment Bill, which was promised in the 2019 Conservative Party manifesto.

However, the bill was not announced as planned in May’s Queen’s Speech, leaving millions of workers with caring responsibilities potentially in limbo.

Andy Briggs, CEO of Phoenix Group and the UK Government’s Business Champion for Ageing Society and Older Workers, is now calling on the government to still press ahead with the plans.

 
 

He also urged all businesses that can to introduce a paid carers leave policy now, rather than wait for government legislation.

Phoenix Group, the UK’s largest long-term savings and retirement business, currently operates a policy of providing ten days of paid carers leave to employees to help remove additional stress for colleagues in what can be fraught and challenging situations. Phoenix Group has also been recognised as a Carer Positive Exemplary Employer.

Following Carers Week 2022, Phoenix Group CEO and UK Government Business Champion for Ageing Society and Older Workers, Andy Briggs, said:

 
 

“Carers provide an invaluable service not just to loved ones, but also to our society and our economy, saving the NHS as much as £530million every day. They also bring valuable skills and experience back into the workplace.

“It is therefore absolutely vital that people are able to both undertake their essential caring responsibilities and continue to contribute fully at work.

“That is why we are calling for the UK Government to press ahead with plans for five days unpaid statutory carers leave now, despite the deferment of the Employment Bill.  

 
 

“At Phoenix Group we already operate a policy of 10 days paid carers leave, introduced in 2020, and I would also urge all employers who can to act now and introduce a paid carers leave policy.

“For both carers and the cared for, government and business must prioritise support for carers without delay.”

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