If you are a carer aged 18 or over and feel you need additional support to carry out your caring role then you are entitled to meet with a professional to complete a Carer’s Assessment to look into your needs. This may be things like practical help with tasks, information on services available or time off from your caring role.
Every employee has the statutory right to ask to work flexibly after 26 weeks employment service. An employee can only make a statutory request once in any 12 month period. This Code is intended to help employers deal with written requests made by employees to change their working hours or place of work under the statutory right in the Employment Rights Act 1996 to request flexible working.
As an employee, you can complete a Right to Request Flexible Working form and submit it to your employer to ask for consideration for flexible working conditions. If you would like any further information or help to complete the form please contact the Centre and one of our Adult Carer Support Team will be happy to help you.
You can also find out more about flexible working by visiting the ACAS website.
Talking to your employer
You may be working when you start your new caring role. If this is the case then it is important that you let your employer know about your caring situation.
Being a carer is often unpredictable and care arrangements can be difficult and complicated, so you will need to talk to your employer about your concerns and responsibilities.
It is in your employer’s best interest to consider making reasonable adjustments to your work pattern to help you work and continue caring.
Many employers offer help to carers in a range of ways. You will need to talk to them about your needs. You and your employer might want to consider flexible working arrangements including:
- Compressed working hours (where you work your normal number of hours over fewer days – typically fitting five days’ working time into four days)
- Term-time or annualised working hours (the amount of hours you are contracted for per month or year are worked in a flexible way)
- Job-sharing or part-time working
- Flexible holidays to fit in with alternative care arrangements.
- Support at work
You may also:
- Be able to talk to a welfare officer or occupational health adviser who knows about carers
- Get in-house, up to-date information and advice, counselling or attend support/networking groups
- Receive a subscription to carers’ organisations or employee services
Other help from your employer could include:
- Telephone availability so that you can contact the person you are caring for
- A car parking space set aside to make getting in and out of work quicker and easier
- Realistic notice if overtime or working from home is required
- Special leave arrangements and time off in emergencies
In addition to your entitlement to emergency leave, your employer may also be able to offer the following:
- Carers’ leave (paid/unpaid)
- Compassionate leave
- Borrowing/buying leave
- Career breaks
A right to time off in emergencies
You are entitled to take a reasonable amount of time off if you have worked for your employer for at least a year and there is an emergency relating to the person you care for.
This can include:
- if there is a breakdown in care arrangements
- if the person you care for becomes ill or has an accident – this can be emotional or physical pain
- if your child is involved in an incident during school hours
- if you need to make longer term care arrangements
- if you need time off following the death of a dependent