There are around three million people in the UK juggling work and caring – so you are not alone!  It is your decision whether to tell your employer that you are caring, but it could be helpful as your employer may be understanding and have policies in place that offer additional support to the legal requirements. 

If you have been in your job for 26 continuous weeks or more you are entitled to ask for flexible working.  You should make the request in writing to your employer setting out the different working patterns that you want and how these will support your caring role and enable you to continue working effectively. Your employer can refuse your request but needs to have a good reason for doing so. If you need time off work for an emergency you may be able to use the right to time off for dependents.  The time requested needs to be reasonable under the circumstances and does not have to be paid.

Many carers leave work because of their caring responsibilities.  Leaving work is a big decision and you should consider how this will affect your wellbeing as well as your finances.  Try to consider all of the alternatives, like flexible working, paid/unpaid leave or even a career break and discuss this with your employer.  For more information on employer/employee rights and responsibilities visit ACAS.

If you are thinking about returning to work talk to one of our Employment Personal Advisors. Our Working for Carers Project supports unpaid carers, aged 25 and over, back into work, training or volunteering.  We can provide one to one, tailored support including help with CV writing, interview techniques and training workshops.