Rights at work
Many of our staff are carers or have been carers in the past. We understand how difficult it can be to juggle work with caring. In some cases, carers may have to give up paid employment, despite their desire to carry on working. In other situations, deciding to stop work is the best choice for a carer and can feel like a huge relief. There are also a lot of carers who find continuing to work provides them with a work/life balance that they find more beneficial, as well as providing them with an income.
If you want to remain in paid work there are steps you can take to help you manage your work commitments alongside your caring role.
Should I tell people at work about my caring role?
Whether you are letting them know for the first time that you are a carer or are advising them of changes in your caring situation, you may need to talk to your employer to let them know so that you can work with them to agree adjustments to your working conditions as necessary. You can find useful information about helping carers to deal with change at Carers Trust.
You can find more information about your rights as an employee while also caring, as well as lots of other useful information, at the links below:
What if I have to take time off in an emergency?
You are entitled to take reasonable time off work, sometimes referred to as ‘dependent leave’, in the event of unforeseen problems and emergency situations involving dependents or close family. Please note that this does not include anything that is planned in advance such as planned appointments. This will not usually be paid leave, unless your contract of employment includes that benefit. You can access more information about emergency time off at this government website.
Can I reduce my hours if my caring role increases?
Flexible working offers a better chance to be able to balance your caring responsibilities and your job. All employees have a right to ask for flexible working after 6 months with the same employer, as long as you haven’t already made a flexible working request in the previous 12 months. You can still make a request outside of these circumstances but your employer does not have a statutory obligation to consider it.
Examples of flexible working include:
- Reducing your hours from full-time to part-time
- Adjusting your working hours to accommodate care arrangements.
- Working the same hours over fewer days
- Switching to flexitime, allowing you to fit your working hours around agreed core times
- Introducing home-working for part or all of the time
If you have a statutory right to apply for flexible working, as specified above, there is a formal process to follow. Please see the following link at Carers UK for further information.