What do you do when partner Sick and you work?

Hi there,

My hubby was diagnosed in 2003 and it has been a slow progression for him but in the last year his hands have severe tremors which makes eating very difficult. We now have a carer 1 hour a day to help feed him as it would be difficult himself.

I think the worst of it is if you work and taking time off to be with a sick loved one is not always easy. I have just had to take a week off work as Annual leave while my hubby was rushed by ambulance to hospital. As it is an unpredictable illness you hope and pray that you don’t have too many of these episodes.

I would love to know how others cope when they work and what do they do.



Do you work for a company that uses a carers leave system whereby you acru time when you do overtime rather than pay so you can then use that for appts or illness.

If they dont is it something they could start for you,or allow you to do flexy time?

Im sure someone will have more ideas but these are the ones we currently use.

All the best to you both


Hi Caz, we coped like you did, by my partner taking his holidays when i was too ill to be left alone, in the end though he took early retirement because the pressure got too much,they were even hounding him while on holiday to go in and go to meetings,he got sick of trying to explain,BUT we were lucky in that he got a good pension payout,so that made the decision easier for us,and we are both mid fifites,luckily my MS didnt get too bad until the last few years.

jaki xx


Hi Caz

I am not very good at laws and stuff - but I really thought there was some kind of law that if you were a carer for a partner/child/parent that your employer had to make reasonable adjustments for you to cope? I know you havent really asked for advice just others experiences - just thought I would share that. And there are always posters in my GPs office about support for working carers…

My soon to be husband has RRMS - he has been medically retired for about 4.5years now. On a day to day basis he can generally manage most personal stuff himself - of course there are times when he cant. I am very lucky with my employer - I can literally work whatever hours I want as long as I do my hours within a month. Are you able to come to some sort of arrangement with yours? Work from home etc? I know that in some jobs this just isnt feasible. I am meant to work 42 hours a week, depending on how things are at home sometimes i go way over that and sometimes i go way under it!!! I just think its awful that you are having to use your leave as it would be so much nicer if you could use that at a time when your partner is well and you could enjoy some time together.

I also have RRMS - diagnosed 3 years now (our nerologists say it isnt catching - all i know was i was fine until i met my fella!!!) so finding the time and energy to cope with both my partners and my problems is becoming a struggle at times - although we havent decided to get some outside help in yet. I am in my twenties and we try to keep things as “normal” as we can.

I do realise i have rambled on a bit here…sorry!!


Dependants leave is an important benefit to which employees are entitled.

For the benefit of our readers, you’re legally entitled to take as long as you need (unpaid) off work when there’s an emergency involving a dependant whether that be a child, parent, partner or someone who lives with you.

This doesn’t cover ongoing care but it does means that you can take time off to make arrangements for care, etc.

Your employer needs to be told what’s happening asap and you must give your best estimate of how long you’ll need off, so that cover can be arranged. Your pay and benefits will be docked for any time you have off, though some employers are more generous and, for example, may not dock your holiday entitlement or pension for short periods of dependant’s leave.

Lolli xx

Thanks for your reply. Yes time off in emergencies can be unpaid but as I am the only person working it makes a big difference from my salary hence why I chose annual leave.

I know if it ever happens again as we never know then unpaid it will have to be.