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Support in your workplace

You may be balancing your caring role with paid employment and you are likely to need flexible support to continue with these roles.

On this page, find out about your rights and support that is available.

Carers UK provide some information on managing paid work and caring.

Your rights in work come from two sources:

  • ‘statutory rights’ which everyone has by law
  • 'contractual rights' which your employment contract provides.  These may be more generous than statutory rights.

Below is information about your statutory rights:

Time off for emergencies

  • As a carer, you may take 'reasonable' time off to deal with an emergency relating to someone who is dependent on you, such as a parent, child or partner
  • An emergency could be an unexpected breakdown in existing care arrangements, illness, an accident, or a bereavement
  • You can only take off the time you need to deal with the emergency or arrange other care
  • You have to take this time off as unpaid leave unless your employment contract allows for paid dependency leave

From 6 April 2024, the Carer's Leave Act 2023 will come into effect to allow employers that have unpaid caring responsibilities to take up to a week's leave in a working year.

Flexible working

  • You can request flexible working if you have been employed in the same organisation continuously for 6 months (26 weeks) as long as you haven’t already made a flexible working request within the last 12 months
  • You need to put your request in writing and you should include the working pattern change you are requesting, how it may affect the business and how this can be lessened
  • You could change the hours you work, work from home or change the times you are at work
  • The law says your employer must consider the request. You do not automatically have the right to flexible working, but your employer should only refuse if there is a clear business reason to refuse
  • If you are refused flexible working, you can appeal against the decision

Protection from discrimination

Under the Equality Act 2010, if you are looking after someone who is elderly or disabled, you are protected against direct discrimination or harassment because of your caring responsibilities.

Support for employees with caring responsibilities

In addition to the above information about your rights in the workplace, find out more about support that is available for employees with caring responsibilities on the government's Job Help website. 

The Job Help website provides advice and information on support that is available for carers, including support options from your employer, financial support or advice, tips on finding a new job while caring.

Government website: Job Help - Working & supporting someone’s health or care 

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