Working and Caring

If you are trying to balance caring with paid employment you are not alone.
1 in 7 of all workers in the UK are doing the same.

Support from employers

It’s up to you whether you tell your employer about your caring responsibilities. You may prefer not to however, if you do tell them, they will better understand the pressures you are under and you will be able to access any support they provide. Some companies have carers policies for example, or workplace carers support groups.

There are also statutory rights you are entitled to, and you are protected from discrimination – employers cannot treat you less favourably because of your caring role.

Find out what support your employer has – check your staff handbook or intranet, or speak with your line manager or HR.

Practical tips

Requesting flexible working

All employees are able to “request” flexible working hours after they have worked for the same employer for at least 6 months.  You can only make one flexible request a year.

However, an employer has the right to refuse the request if it will impact the business in any way.  So it is important that you consider the impact of your flexible working and identify the benefits to the business.

The right to time off in emergencies

All employees are able to take time off to deal with an emergency or unforeseen event involving a dependant, either a child, partner or parent. This is unpaid unless your employer gives paid leave as part of their contractual rights.

The right to parental leave

If you have been working for an employer for a year and you have a child under 18 you are entitled to 18 weeks leave per child. Again this is unpaid unless your employer says otherwise.

Useful Resources

Carers UK provides a downloadable leaflet covering your rights at work. 

Being Heard: a self-advocacy toolkit by Carers UK gives you some ideas on being heard.

Employers for Carers encourages employers to support carers through a membership scheme.