Dame Caroline Dinenage, Member of Parliament for Gosport & co-Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Carers, has welcomed the news that the Carer’s Leave Bill has passed Third Reading in the House of Lords. It is one step closer to becoming law, and now goes to The King for Royal Assent.
Once granted Royal Assent, the legislation will see employees across Great Britain gain a landmark new right to take up to one week of unpaid Carer’s Leave.
Caroline supported the Private Member’s Bill in the Commons, serving on its Public Bill Committee when it was in the House of Commons. It was brought forward by Wendy Chamberlain MP and has cross-party support from MPs, peers and the Government.
The Carer’s Leave Bill will give 2.4 million unpaid carers a week of leave from their employment to juggle their caring responsibilities.
Caroline has consistently campaigned for improved support for carers. As Minister of State for Care in the Department for Health & Social Care from 2018-2020 she published the Carers Action Plan, and as a backbencher she established and co-chairs the APPG on Carers. She has raised issues pertaining to carers on numerous occasions in the Chamber.
Commenting, Caroline said:
“I am delighted that the Carer’s Leave Bill has passed its final Parliamentary hurdle, and goes to the King for Royal Assent.
“In my constituency work, as Chair of the APPG on Carers, and in my past ministerial capacity, I know just how hard it is for employees with caring responsibilities to balance this with full time employment.
“The Carer’s Leave Bill, once enacted, will give nearly two and a half million unpaid carers a bit more flexibility to carry out their caring duties.
“This is a win-win for carers and employers, helping balance work with attending appointments, and improving staff retention for employers by ensuring that unpaid carers do not need to leave their employment.”
Helen Walker, Chief Executive of Carers UK said:
“The Carer’s Leave Bill has enormous potential to improve the work-life balance of more than two million employees in Great Britain currently juggling their work with unpaid caring responsibilities for loved ones. It will mean unpaid carers can be there for their loved ones when they need them most - while staying in paid work.
“We are delighted the Bill has received wide-ranging support across the benches in Parliament and are excited about the next step for the Bill – gaining Royal Assent.”
Lord Fox, who sponsored the Bill in the Lords, said:
“It has been a privilege to hear first-hand from unpaid carers what a difference this Bill will make. I am proud to have played a role in its journey to becoming law. It will help millions of unpaid carers better balance work and care.”