Central Ayrshire's MP has welcomed the provisions of the new Carer’s Leave Act 2023, which came into force last weekend.

The Act, which Dr Philippa Whitford supported in Parliament, gives people who provide care to a family member, friend or relative the right to up to five days unpaid leave from work, specifically to fulfil their caring responsibilities.

Carers UK estimates that, on average, 600 people a day have to give up work in order to care for older, ill or disabled relatives and friends due to a lack of support and flexibility in the workplace.

Having this additional flexibility will help many unpaid carers to cope with the challenging task of balancing employment alongside their unpaid caring responsibilities.

Research suggests up to 2.3 million employees across Britain could benefit, while over one million employers will have to implement this right for their workforce. 

Dr Whitford said: “I am delighted to see the Carer's Leave Act come into force, enabling the thousands of unpaid carers in Central Ayrshire who care for someone who is disabled, elderly, or seriously ill, to access to a new workplace right to unpaid leave in support of their caring duties.

“This will make a huge difference to many people who are often forced to use up annual leave to care for others.

"The option of unpaid leave will give them more flexibility to manage their caring role, improving their wellbeing, which will not only benefit them but the person they care for, and their employer.

“I commend Wendy Chamberlain for bringing this legislation before Parliament and Carers UK for all their work in supporting its development and implementation."