Carer’s Leave Act

Published: April 15, 2024


The new Carer’s Leave Act, which came into force on Saturday, entitles workers with unpaid caring responsibilities up to five days unpaid leave. VSGWL secured Engaged status recently and this has had a very positive impact on individuals within the team and we encourage other orgs to follow suit.

Carers who are also in paid employment can find it difficult to balance their job with caring responsibilities at home, with many choosing to cut their hours or leave employment due to the pressures, which can impact their wellbeing and quality of life. Support from within the workplace can help retain these members of staff and attract new talent.

For the first time, employees who are carers will be able to take up to 5 days unpaid leave to better balance work with caring responsibilities. Employees can take time off in full or half days, or in a whole block of five days. Those taking time off will have the same employment protection associated with other forms of family-related leave, such as protection from dismissal as a result of having taken the leave.

Carer Positive manager, Sue McLintock said:

“This is such an important development in employment rights and recognition for carers. The Carer’s Leave Act brings bringing vitally needed employment support for nearly a quarter of a million carers across Scotland and will help many people who may currently be struggling to remain in employment because of the challenges they face with caring responsibilities outside of work.

“Having this statutory entitlement to take time off will remove much of the stress many carers experience in their workplace, providing them with confidence, security and practical support. The flexibility in how this is taken is important too – it might be a day or two following a hospital discharge, half a day to take someone to a clinical appointment, or a full week if required.

“The new right could be the difference in enabling a carer to stay in employment, which is not only crucial for carers and their families, but also for employers who might otherwise lose skilled and valuable members of staff. In short, the Carers Leave Act will benefit a great many carers, support staff retention across organisations, and benefit the wider economy.”

VSGWL held a Carer Positive Information event on Thursday 25th April, 2pm-4pm. More Information – 

For more on changes for Carers and Carers Positive Award –

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