Chamberlain’s Carer’s Leave Bill set to pass final hurdle

The Carer’s Leave Bill introduced by North East Fife MP Wendy Chamberlain will reach its final parliamentary stage this Friday in the House of Lords. The Bill, which has been described by the charity Carers UK as a ‘landmark’ piece of legislation, has cross-party support and is expected to pass unopposed.

The Bill would give an estimated 2.4 million carers across the UK a statutory right to take five days of unpaid leave per year. Carer’s UK have described this as a ‘landmark’ piece of legislation which would help carers to better balance work and care.

Wendy Chamberlain introduced the Carer’s Leave Bill last June after winning a place in the Private Member’s Bill lottery. It has enjoyed cross-party support and has so far passed all its parliamentary stages unopposed.

Wendy Chamberlain said:

“Unpaid carers are the backbone of our society. I said that at the beginning of this process almost a year ago, and I believe it even more strongly today. Millions of people care for loved ones, doing everything from day-to-day physical caring, washing, dressing and feeding for those who cannot care for themselves, to things like shopping for a housebound elderly relative.

“Yet far too many unpaid carers go without adequate support and struggle to balance caring responsibilities and work. I have met with and heard from carers in North East Fife and across the country, and many have made the difficult decision to leave their jobs because they simply can’t make it work.

“My Carer’s Leave Bill is a first step to providing greater support. It will allow carers  to take time off work to manage caring responsibilities. I hope that it will provide many people with the flexibility they need.

“I am also confident that the law will have benefits for employers too. Many businesses already provide a version of Carer’s Leave to their staff and report reduced recruitment costs, and improved retention and wellbeing.

“I look forward to the Bill’s third reading in the House of Lords and I hope it will soon become law, helping carers across the country.”

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