Dame Caroline Dinenage, MP for Gosport, Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Carers and former Minister for Care, spoke in favour of the Carer’s Leave Bill as it successfully passed Committee stage in the House of Commons today with cross party support.
The Bill, introduced to Parliament in September, got unanimous support from its Public Bill Committee which examines the legislation in detail, of which Caroline was a member.
The Carer’s Leave Bill will give 2.4 million unpaid carers a week of leave from their employment in order to juggle their caring responsibilities.
Carers’ rights is an issue that Caroline has consistently pushed for. As Care Minister 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.
It is supported cross-party, and by sector charities such as Carers UK. It is also supported by the government, having been a 2019 manifesto commitment. Having gained the unanimous support of the Public Bill Committee, the Bill moves to report stage.
Dame Caroline said:
“A large number of my constituents have to balance caring responsibilities with full time employment. I know how difficult this balancing act can be, and the impact it can have on the lives of unpaid carers, with so many, especially women, leaving the workforce.
“The Carer’s Leave Bill will give unpaid carers the right to a week of leave from their employment to facilitate their caring responsibilities.
“This gives carers flexibility to support their loved ones, whilst also reducing staff absences and retention issues for employers. This bill really is a win-win for both unpaid carers and employers.
“I look forward to supporting this bill through its remaining stages.”