Changes To The Work Life Balance Act

On 26 June 2023, the Government announced that a number of provisions under the Work life Balance and Miscellaneous Provisions Act 2023 that came into effect on Monday 3 July, 2023.

These provisions include:

  1. Unpaid leave for medical care purposes for parents and carers

Employees will be entitled to five days unpaid leave per calendar year to provide care or support  to a care recipient for serious medical reasons. Care recipient includes a family member or a person who lives in the same household as the employee.

This entitlement is in addition to existing statutory entitlements to carer’s leave and force majeure leave. The leave can be fragmented, but not in periods of less than one day. No service requirement is required, nor prior notice is required. Employees will be required to confirm to their employer in writing, as soon as reasonably practicable, that they intend to take or have taken this leave. Employers may request ‘relevant evidence’ such as a medical cert confirming the need for significant care or support of a serious medical issue.

  1. Extension of breastfeeding breaks

The Maternity Protection Acts have been amended to include an extension of breastfeeding breaks from 26 weeks to 104 weeks during which mothers are entitled to take paid time off work and have reduced working hours for breastfeeding purposes.

Employers should review their existing policies and procedures i.e. Company Handbook and such documents to ensure compliance with this important new legislation.

Further changes
The Work Life Balance and Miscellaneous Provisions Act 2023 also provides for a number of other significant entitlements for employees which are expected to come in to force in the coming months.
These include:

  • 5 days paid leave for victims of domestic violence​
  • The right to request flexible working for parents and carers
  • The right to request remote working for all employees

The Government’s announcement advised that domestic violence leave is expected to be introduced in the Autumn. It also notes that the right to request flexible working for parents and carers will be commenced following the preparation of a Code of Practice by the Workplace Relations Commission. Although the right to request remote working (which will be available to all employees) is under the separate responsibility of the Minster for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, it is also expected to come into force before the end of the year.

If you would like more information please do not hesitate to get in contact with us here at Keogh’s.

Kindest Regards

Emilie, Joe, Enda and all the Team!
Keogh Accountancy Group