MP calls for new employment rights for unpaid carers

Parliamentary Bill aims to give family carers the right to take unpaid leave from their jobs

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After coming in tenth place in the ballot, Member of Parliament Wendy Chamberlain MP (Liberal Democrats) declared her desire to offer ground-breaking new rights for unpaid caregivers in the workplace through the use of a Private Member’s Bill.

The proposed legislation, dubbed the Carer’s Leave Bill, will attempt to grant employees who have care duties the right to take unpaid leave from their jobs.

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Helen Walker, Chief Executive of the charity Carers UK, said: “We are really pleased that Wendy Chamberlain MP has decided to focus on the needs of unpaid carers at such a crucial time.

“As we learn to live with Covid-19 and during the cost of living crisis, there has never been a more important time to ensure that carers are able to juggle work and care.

“Although the right proposed would be unpaid, it would bring hugely important awareness to the role of unpaid carers within the workplace.

“For a long time, we have campaigned for carer’s rights at work and we hope that this will receive strong Government support across both Houses of Parliament.

“In the longer term, we would like to see Carer’s Leave paid but passing this Bill would be a very important step in recognising and supporting carers in employment.

“We look forward to working closely with Wendy Chamberlain MP to make this Private Member’s Bill a success.”

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Katherine Wilson, Head of Employers for Carers, said: “Employers who already have Carer’s Leave in place say that it’s a win:win situation, to support and retain key employees in the workplace, helping to keep business going and avoiding extra costs.

“The most forward-thinking employers go one step further and have provided Carer’s Leave as a paid entitlement.”

Wendy Chamberlain MP said: “Unpaid carers are the absolute backbone of our society. It is estimated that at least 2.3 million working carers who could be eligible for leave under this bill: a huge number of people who currently receive far too little support.

“This bill will help carers juggle work and care whilst supporting employers to maximise retention and wellbeing. Passing it will be a significant step forwards from all sides.

“I am so excited to bring forward this bill and to have the support of Carers UK on this journey.”

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