Teresa May’s new rights for workers and, in particular, a year’s leave to look after a dependant relative are not as radical as she may think. Employees are already allowed to take a reasonable amount of time off (unpaid) to care for dependants and can also request flexible working for this purpose. Provided employees comply with certain notification requirements, they have the right not to suffer any detriment if the flexible working request is refused or for taking emergency time off. The proposals are therefore an extension of existing rights rather than new rights.
In any event, it will be difficult to enforce such rights if the level of Tribunal fees continues (£1,200 in total) and these are unlikely to change if the Conservative party wins the election. Regardless of political intentions, without providing a simpler and cheaper enforcement mechanism, most of these new rights could be worthless.
Workers will be given a legal right to take a year’s leave from their job to care for elderly relatives under a Conservative Government, Theresa May will announce on Monday.
The Prime Minister will unveil plans for the “greatest expansion of workers rights” by any Conservative Government in history as she seeks to make inroads into Labour’s heartlands.