Can I take time off if I am someone's carer?
If you are someone’s carer, you have a right to ‘dependant care leave’. This is ‘reasonable’ unpaid time off to deal with issues to do with people you care for. Unlike other types of leave, you don’t have to have worked for your employer for a minimum period before you can take it.
You can take time off if there is an unexpected problem in caring for:
- your husband, wife or civil partner;
- your child;
- your mother or father;
- a person who lives in your household (but not an employee, tenant or lodger); or
- a person who reasonably relies upon you to help them if they are ill or injured, or to make arrangements to care for them.
You can also have time off to help a dependant who:
- is ill;
- has been injured;
- has been attacked; or
- gives birth.
You can take time off to deal with matters if a dependant dies or to deal with an unexpected incident involving your child at school or college.
In theory, you can take as much time off as you reasonably need to deal with a particular problem. In practice, the government ’s Directgov website says that, in most cases, one or two days should be enough.
To take dependant care leave, you must tell your employer why you need to take the leave as soon as you can. However, you don’t need their permission and you don’t have to tell them beforehand.
If you are having problems getting your employer to agree to dependant care leave, or if you feel discriminated against or victimised because you take it, you can take your case to an employment tribunal.
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- Can I take time off if I am someone's carer?
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