Two new leave entitlements come into force this year. Medical Care Leave and Domestic Violence Leave are designed to facilitate employees who need to take time off work in certain urgent circumstances.
Medical Care Leave
This came into effect on 3 July 2023. It entitles employees to up to 5 days unpaid medical care leave in any consecutive 12-month period. It applies in situations where, due to an urgent medical reason, an employee has to take time off work to care for a child, spouse, civil partner, cohabitant, parent, grandparent, or sibling. When availing of Medical Care Leave, your employees must notify you in writing as soon as possible and you must also accept the notification in writing. Both documents must be recorded and kept in case they are required at a later date.
Domestic Violence Leave
This new form of leave applies where an employee needs to take time off work because of domestic violence. At the time of writing, we don’t yet know the date, but the measure is expected to come into effect shortly. Employees availing of Domestic Violence Leave will be able to take to up to 5 days paid leave. The rate of pay will be published when the new leave entitlement comes into force. Guidance for employers will be published at the same time.
The two new entitlements outlined above are among a number of measures introduced in the Work Life Balance & Miscellaneous Provisions Act 2023. The legislation also contains measures which will give employees the right to request remote working and flexible working, however, at the time of writing, we don’t know yet when these measures will come into force.