Chamberlain to present landmark unpaid carers bill

North East Fife MP Wendy Chamberlain will today present a bill to Parliament which would give unpaid carers the right to take leave from their job. Her bill, which is supported by Carers UK, will be debated later in the year.

The MP’s private members bill would give unpaid carers the right to take unpaid leave from their job, the first time in the UK that they would be given standalone workplace rights. Carers UK has described this as a ‘landmark piece of legislation’ and estimates that it could help 2.3 million people

The legislation aims to help unpaid carers balance their work and caring responsibilities and to alleviate the burden that this can place on carers’ own physical and mental health. It also is intended to help employers retain and recruit staff who have caring responsibilities. 

Debate on the bill is currently scheduled for November this year. Before then the text of the legislation will be finalised. 

Wendy Chamberlain said: 

“Unpaid carers are the backbone of our society. The work they do on a daily basis is vitally important, but currently they do not receive enough support. I have heard this from my own constituents in North East Fife, and I will be reaching out to them as the bill is developed so that it can be shaped by their experience. 

“There are millions of people across the country who have to juggle work with caring commitments. If it becomes law, I hope that this bill will make a real difference to them as they care for their loved ones. In particular, parents of disabled children would benefit and would for the first time have a specific right to take time off work.

“When I introduce my bill I hope that it will be a first step in giving unpaid carers the help that they so desperately need and deserve.

“I look forward to working the Carers UK, fellow MPs and unpaid carers themselves to make this change a reality.” 

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