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Carers leave proposed new right welcomed by Usdaw as a step in the right direction, but it needs to be paid says the union

Date: 03 February 2023 Retail trade union Usdaw has welcomed MPs today passing the Carers Leave Bill, which would give people with caring responsibilities a right to unpaid leave from work. It received an unopposed third reading in the House of Commons and will now undergo further scrutiny in the House of Lords.
Under the Bill, unpaid working carers will be able to take up to one week’s leave per year flexibly in small amounts. The entitlement applies to all employees regardless of length of service and starting from day one of employment. The Bill also aims to minimise the pressure on individuals who have both work and caring commitments and help employers maximise the retention and wellbeing of their staff.
Paddy Lillis – Usdaw General Secretary says: “We welcome the proposal to give carers leave statutory recognition and we hope Peers will support this once it reaches the House of Lords. However, any right to leave is really only accessible for low-paid workers if it is paid leave at their average income. That has always been the case, but particularly in a cost of living crisis when most cannot afford to lose income.
“The vast majority of care in the UK is provided by family and friends, who make up the UK's 6.5 million carers and without their willingness and ability to provide care, local authority social services and the NHS would collapse under the strain. All too often carers feel life is a pressure cooker of competing demands, with worries about money, time off work, their own health and that of the person they are caring for.
“Usdaw has long campaigned for measures to lift the pressure on working carers with a statutory right to paid carers leave, protection from discrimination and redundancy, along with raising the rate of Carers Allowance and extending its reach to the lowest paid workers. Carers deserve to have their enormous contribution properly rewarded and recognised.”
Notes for editors:
Usdaw (Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers) is the UK's fifth biggest trade union with around 360,000 members. Most Usdaw members work in the retail sector, but the union also has many members in transport, distribution, food manufacturing, chemical industry and other trades.
For Usdaw press releases visit: http://www.usdaw.org.uk/news and you can follow us on Twitter @UsdawUnion

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The official website of the Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers