Carer's Leave U.K. 2024

Carer’s Leave: A New Entitlement for Employees in the UK

With effect from April 6th, 2024, employees residing in England, Wales, and Scotland will gain a crucial employment entitlement: Carer’s Leave. This new provision allows employees to take unpaid leave to provide care or make arrangements for dependents who require assistance due to various circumstances, including physical or mental illness, disability, or age-related care needs. Importantly, this care provision extends beyond family members to encompass any dependent in need.

Entitlement and Duration

Carer’s Leave is a day one entitlement, ensuring that employees have immediate access to this support when needed. Employees are entitled to take up to one week of Carer’s Leave within every 12-month period. The definition of a week aligns with an employee’s usual working pattern, meaning that if an individual works four days a week, they are entitled to take four days of Carer’s Leave.

The flexibility of Carer’s Leave allows employees to use it as a whole week off or break it down into individual half-days throughout the year. However, it’s important to note that the entitlement remains fixed at one week per 12-month period, irrespective of the number of dependents requiring care.

Employee requirements

Employees are not required to provide evidence of their dependent’s care needs to access Carer’s Leave. However, they must notify their employer before the intended start date of the leave. Notice periods vary depending on the duration of leave requested:

  • Three days’ notice for half-day or full-day leave.
  • Double the length of requested leave for durations exceeding one day. For instance, if an employee needs three days of leave, they must provide at least six days’ notice.

Requests for Carer’s Leave need not be in writing, offering simplicity and convenience for employees managing challenging circumstances.

Employer Considerations

Employers are obligated to grant Carer’s Leave requests; however, they reserve the right to suggest alternative timing if the employee’s absence would cause significant disruption to the organization. In such cases, employers must adhere to specific guidelines:

  • Agree on an alternate leave date within one month of the original request.
  • Provide written notification to the employee regarding the reason for the delay and the new leave date within seven days of the initial request and before the intended start date of the leave.



Carer’s Leave represents a significant step forward in supporting employees who shoulder caregiving responsibilities outside of their work commitments. By providing essential protections and flexibility, this entitlement acknowledges the diverse needs of the modern workforce. Employers and employees alike should familiarize themselves with the details of Carer’s Leave to ensure its smooth implementation and effective utilization in balancing work and caregiving responsibilities.

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