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Last week, three Private Members Bills received royal assent which will, when in force, give new rights to parents and carers, namely:

  • Paid neonatal leave of up to 12 weeks for employed parents whose children are admitted into neonatal care. This will be in addition to existing leave entitlements such as maternity and paternity leave.
  • Enhancement of existing redundancy protections for pregnant women and new parents for a period of time after they return to work.
  • A week of flexible unpaid leave per year for unpaid carers who have dependants with long-term care needs.

It is important to note that none of these yet have commencement dates. The Government has stated that it will lay down secondary legislation to implement these entitlements ‘in due course’. Meantime, the existing legal position continues.

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