Regardless of whether they are a friend, neighbor, relative, significant other, or have a close relationship to the person being cared for, people who register as Informal Caregivers with the Department of the Family may request to care for someone who needs long-term care, has disabilities, or has developmental delays. This is in accordance with Law No. 82-2023, of August 8, 2023, which took effect that day.  The registration is specific to the person being cared for and calls for medical documentation of a need for care.  Parental or legal guardian care for minors during their normal development is specifically carved out from the new law. 

Any natural person who registers with the Department of the Family to provide care for those 60 years of age or older with ongoing care needs, a person with a handicap, or a person with developmental disabilities is considered an Informal Caregiver. They provide support in the daily essential activities of living. 

The law’s legislative aim states that 440,000 persons, or 14% of Puerto Ricans, identify as informal caregivers. Examples of necessary daily tasks are given, including feeding, maintaining basic hygiene, using transportation, managing finances, and managing medications.  

According to the law’s amendments to the Puerto Rico Working Hours and Days Act, an employee may request in writing a change of itinerary, the number of hours worked, or the location of his place of employment. The proposed change, the justification for the request, the start date, and the end date must all be specified in the employee’s written request.  

Employers have 20 days to respond to the request. Meeting the employee during that time and deciding within 14 days of that meeting will satisfy this requirement. The employer will treat with priority the petitions by heads of families who have parental authority or sole custody of their minor children, as well as informal caregivers duly certified by the Department of the Family. The employer “may grant or deny the employee’s request” under the conditions it deems suitable.  The grounds for the denial and any potential alternatives must be stated.  If the employer employs more than 15 people, the decision must be made in writing. 

The new law restates existing laws that currently protect caregivers and establishes a Bill of Rights for Caregivers. The bill states that subject to the applicability, they shall be protected in the use of sick leave for the care of those care recipients in their charge.  The right of these caregivers to obtain training and ongoing education is recognized, among other things, in the Bill of Rights. 



“Ley sobre la Política Pública del Cuidado Informal del Estado Libre Asociado de Puerto Rico” ( 

Ley permitirá que cuidadores informales puedan pedir cambios en horarios de trabajo – El Nuevo Día (, accedido 26 de agosto de 2023.  

“Cuidadores”, by Mildred Rivera Marrero, página 38, El Nuevo Día, 27 de agosto de 2023