Paid carer’s leave must be part of new employment law bill, says Ms Eastwood

Following the launch of a Carers NI report, Alliance Economy Spokesperson Sorcha Eastwood MLA has called for paid carers leave to be part of a new employment law bill.

Sorcha Eastwood carers

Carer’s leave would enable carers to take a determined number of days out of work to perform caring duties without the stress of trying to juggle employment, having their attendance record affected, or having to use holiday leave for caring.

Ms Eastwood said: “Today Carers NI have released a new report which highlights options to deliver carer’s leave in Northern Ireland, specifically paid carer’s leave. We have fallen well behind Ireland and GB when it comes to employment rights due to stop-start Government.

“There are around 220,000 people providing unpaid care for family members and friends in Northern Ireland. The people they care for need them and we as a society depend on them.

“Many of these carers have to juggle jobs, family life, bills, homes, and other responsibilities while looking after loved ones. The pressures they face can be huge, and often mean carers will resort to using any leave they might have from their jobs to fulfil their caring duties, and some leave work entirely.

“The report outlines clear economic reasoning to bring this legislation forward but this is first and foremost about doing the right thing for carers.

“I am calling on the Economy Minister to include paid carers leave in the employment law bill which will be brought forward.”