Giving up work cannot only have a huge financial impact, but it also means having less time away from caring, less opportunities to meet and talk to other people and it can also be hard for you to get back into work after caring. Before you decide that you may want to stop working all together you should consider whether there is anything you and your employer can do to make life easier for you. 

Your rights in the workplace

Being a carer doesn't mean you have to give up work. However, balancing your caring responsibilities with a career can become very difficult and some carers end up giving up work.

Your right to flexible working

If you find it difficult to balance your work life with your caring responsibilities and your other commitments you may want to ask for flexible working. You may want to consider:

  • having flexible starting and finishing times
  • working compressed hours - this is where you work full-time hours but over fewer days
  • working during term-time only
  • job sharing
  • working part-time 
  • working from home some or all of the time depending on the kind of job you do

You don’t need to be a carer to ask for flexible working. Anyone has the right to request flexible working if you have been employed by your employer continuously for 26 weeks at the time you make an application. 

You can only make one application per year. However, employers can agree to further changes if employees find that their circumstances have changed and need to make an additional application. You can find more information and advice on flexible working here:





Your right to time off in an emergency

You have the right to take time off work to deal with emergencies which involve a dependent. This is also known as "time off for dependents". A dependent can be a spouse, partner, child, grandparent, parent or someone else who depends on you for care or help in an emergency.

Whether the time off is paid or not, will depend on your individual case at work which you’ll need to discuss with your employer. 

When asking for time off for a dependent, it doesn’t matter how long you have worked for your employer. However you are only allowed a reasonable amount of time off to deal with the emergency. Whether you get paid for this time off will depend on your employer's policy. 

Taking time off for dependants does not include taking someone you care for to an appointment you know about in advance. You may have to take annual leave in this case. Always try and give you employer as much notice as possible, when you have to take time off so that they can plan for your absence. 


Your right to take parental leave if you have a child

You are entitled to parental leave if you have been employed by your employer for more than a year and you're responsible for a child under the age of 18.

You can take up to 18 weeks parental leave for each child. However, the most time you can take in a year is 4 weeks for each child. It's important to note that parental leave is unpaid


Useful contacts:

Richmond Carers Hub Service
Address: 5 Briar Road, Twickenham, TW2 6RB
Phone: 020 8867 2380

Working Families
Phone: 0300 012 0312