Balancing work as a caregiver
Juggling work with being a caregiver as well as other family commitments can be challenging. On this page you will find information about your rights relating to employment when you are a caregiver and how to prepare to return to work.
Time off work
Check your employment contract and any employee handbooks that you have access to prior to having any conversations with your employer about your commitments in your caring role. You should speak to you employer as soon as you can, especially if your loved one is due to go for treatment where they need to be at the hospital daily.
Make notes of any conversations you do have and try and make sure there is clarity on both sides about any time you need off work.
Employment law states that you have a statutory right to time off work for dependents, which includes parents, spouse, civil partner or children. You can read more about this here.
How much time you would be allowed off and whether you would be paid for the time off is at your employers discretion.
Flexible working may also be another consideration for you and your employer, to make sure that you can keep to your commitments at work as well as those as a Caregiver.
Under the Employment Rights Act 1996, all employees have a statutory right to ask their employer if they can work flexibly, as long as you have worked there continuously for at least 26 weeks. If you have worked somewhere for less than 26 weeks or are an agency worker, you do not have the same statutory right, although you can still request this.
For more information on what counts as flexible working, and your rights, you can visit the ACAS website.
Here are some more helpful links:
Returning to work
If you are looking to return to work after being off or on reduced hours, this can be a very daunting experience.
A 2019 study by Carers UK reported that Carers often find that it can be a struggle to balance their responsibilities in work with their caring responsibilities. 38% of carers reported that they had to give up work in order to care and 18% had reduced their working hours.
Lots of different things come into play when trying to manage work with a carers role, such as the type of role and type of company you work for as well as the policies they have in place for carers.
Our Returning to Work Know How has been designed to help you prepare for returning to work as well as finding out what help is available.