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Advice for being a carer and working

If you’re working as well as caring for someone, it can be a lot to handle at once. It may help to know about your rights at work and think about what could help you with managing your work and your caring role.

The right to flexible working

If you’re juggling work and caring, you have the right to request flexible working arrangements to help you fulfil your responsibilities.

Flexible working could also help you to find a working pattern that suits your caring role and gives you more time to take care of yourself as well. Flexible working might involve:

Working compressed hours

This is when you work all your normal hours but over fewer days – such as 8am to 6pm over four days rather than 9am to 5pm over five days.

Changing your working hours

Perhaps you could start work earlier or finish later to help you with your caring responsibilities.

Part-time working or job sharing

Where you share your job with another colleague and split the hours between you.

Location flexible

Perhaps you can work from home all or part of the time, or be on call from wherever you want to be based, or work in different branches if you sometimes need to be near a relative, care home or hospital.

You can make one request for flexible working each year. Your employer must consider it but does not have to agree to it.

The right to time off in an emergency

You also have the right to time off in an emergency when it involves a person who is dependent on you. That might include, for example, your partner, your parent, or your child. If someone else relies on you for help, they may also count as a dependent.

Examples of when you might need to use this right to emergency time off include:

  • where your normal care arrangements have been cancelled or changed
  • if the person you care for dies, is ill, or has an accident
  • when you need time off to organise long-term arrangements for the person you care for when they are ill or injured

What to do next?

If you are finding it hard to juggle work and caring, why not talk to your employer first to see what they can suggest. You could perhaps do a trial of flexible working.

We're here to help

We offer support through our free advice line on 0800 678 1602. Lines are open 8am-7pm, 365 days a year. We also have specialist advisers at over 140 local Age UKs.

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Last updated: Jun 08 2020

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