What are my carers rights at work?

Rights of a Carer at work for time off with dependant

Hi all,

I have had to have 5 days off with hubby recently (unpaid) as he was very sick with an infection and was 14 days in hospital. My workplace were not very amused by it, I read this online.

"You are allowed 'reasonable' time off to deal with the emergency and make any arrangements that are needed. There's no set amount of time allowed to deal with an unexpected event involving a dependant - it will vary depending on what the event is but for most cases one or two days should be sufficient to deal with the problem."


They are putting pressuire on my to do flexible working which I cannot afford to do.

Does anyone know my rights please?





Hi caz,


ring tomorrow; they will give you the correct info



Hi Caz, off the top of my head, I thought you were allowed time off unpaid if you had children or you had someone to care for. I know people at my work have done that before.

Do your work know that you are a carer for your husband? I don’t know what work you do and I’m sorry they were not amused by your absence.

You say they are putting you under pressure to do flexible working which you can not afford to do. Would it be possible for you to do flexible working , but to stay on the same number of hours a week (or a month) but to work them over a more flexible working pattern.

E.g 40 hours a week, but instead of 8 hours a day you could finish later a few nights in a row and accumulate 8 hours which would amount to a day off, or could you work through lunch so you can start early or finish late. People at my work also do that but again I don’t know what you do so that may not be possible.

Caz, you do a great job working full time and caring for your husband. How is your husband now, and did you manage to sort out that stair lift?


Thanks Cheryl,

I am still investigating about my rights.

As yet no stairlift either need to do research for everything lately.





I'm not up to date, but the basic principles five years ago were that:


- anyone had the right to take unpaid* time off immediately to deal with an emergency situation including making arrangements for care, i.e. phone calls, paperwork, etc. As much notice as possible should be given but, because we're talking emergency here, practically speaking this would be a phone call asap when the problem first arose.


- this right to unpaid time off did NOT cover actually giving care, or sitting by your dependant's bedside - except possibly during the initial 'emergency'. This time had to be taken as holiday, depending on the employer's holiday rules.


* "unpaid" means that your pay packet is reduced to take account of time off, and other benefits such as holiday, pension, healthcare may be reduced proportionately, i.e. you may be required to pay to make them up = double whammy


This isn't going to sound pleasant but, from an employer's viewpoint, half a day looks reasonable, a whole day not actually unreasonable, but beyond that I'd need some convincing that there were real difficulties in arranging care. Five days sounds as though you're actually giving care, which isn't what dependant's leave is for in the case of an older dependant. Even with a child, delegation of care would be expected except possibly for very young babies and in life-threatening situations.


The legislation making dependant's leave a right was introduced to stop people getting instant dismissal at the very time when they need their job the most. This is a world better than it used to be - and makes this country's employment protection laws a whole lot more generous towards employees than others. But the legislation is there to protect your job, not your pay, benefits and holiday entitlement :<)


Sorry this isn't more encouraging news, but I suggest that CAB or ACAS will be able to give you up to date information about your rights.


Lolli xx

Thanks Lolli

Hi I had a friend who's husband was off long term sick and her doctor signed her off work to be with him, this maybe an option speak to your doctor and see if they can help you.

Good luck

Sue x

Hi I had a friend who's husband was off long term sick and her doctor signed her off work to be with him, this maybe an option speak to your doctor and see if they can help you.

Good luck

Sue x