Princes introduces enhanced carers’ leave for UK employees

Princes carer’s leaveInternational food and drink group Princes has introduced two weeks of carers’ leave for its UK employees each year in order to go further than the new Carers’ Leave Act coming into effect on 6 April.

One week will be paid and the other will be unpaid. Employees will be required to give at least three days’ notice to take leave or, for a request of more than one day, double as long as the requested leave. This is separate to any emergencies that may arise.

The policy has been introduced following a consultation with employees who act as carers within their own families.

Under the Carers’ Leave Act, employees are entitled to one week of unpaid leave every 12 months, which can be taken as individual or half days across the year, or all at once. It begins from day one of employment and can be taken to provide or arrange care for a dependent with a long-term care need, such as an illness or injury for more than three months, disability, or old age.

Jennifer Gallagher, senior human resources business partner at Princes, said: “We know that many of our employees will benefit from this legislation, but as a business we felt that we should go further. Our stated ambition is to be an employer of choice and this means seeking ways to go further than the industry norm. The decision to provide UK employees with two weeks of care leave in a 12-month period aligns with our colleague value proposition, and our determination to be a people-focused, inclusive business.

“A key part of our health and wellbeing strategy is supporting our employees when they need us most and we know that caring responsibilities can have a detrimental effect on a carer’s own health and wellbeing. It is also an example of how we bring our values to life in a practical way that makes a difference to the working and personal lives of our employees.”

Princes plans to roll out several carer-related initiatives this year, including a carers’ network, appointing a carers champion and celebrating Carers’ Rights Day on 23 November.