Looking after someone might mean that working regular hours becomes difficult. You might be worried about what to do if complications arise with the person you're looking after when you are supposed to be working. There are things you can do to help cope with the pressures of work and care.
Check whether you have:
- a right to take time off in an emergency, for example, to arrange alternative care if the care package you have in place breaks down
- rights to parental leave
- a right to ask for flexible working, such as part-time, flexi-time, or working from home
- information about your employer's own policies for carers in the workplace, such as career breaks or early retirement
Support as a working carer
If you feel that you need more help with your role as a carer so that you can stay in employment, you can request a carer's assessment from the council. The council will look at whether you are eligible for support in your caring role. You can also request an assessment for the person you are looking after.
If you are already being supported by the council following an assessment, but the pressures of your caring role mean that you are thinking about giving up work or reducing your hours, then you can ask to be reassessed to see if there is any additional support you may be eligible for.
A new free service is now provided by Essex County Council in collaboration with Action for Family Carers and Age UK Essex. This online service helps family, friends, and volunteers come together to support a loved one who may be in need of some support at home. If you are caring for someone, you can set up an online network of people who can all chip in and help with different jobs. Together you can all list the different things which need doing, and work as a team to make sure your loved one gets the help they need. You can also receive text or email reminders and notifications when tasks are completed. This service can really give peace of mind to loved ones, and can make it easier for someone to ask for, or offer help.
For more information, and to watch a video about how this works, visit the Essex Rally Around webpage. If you need help getting started, you can also contact one of the organisations supporting the service by filling in the online form on the enquiry page.
Other information and advice
Contact the ACAS Helpline which provides free and confidential advice on all aspects of employment rights.
Carers UK have advice and information on your rights in the workplace as a carer, and maintaining a balance between work and your responsibilities as a carer. They also run an advice service and telephone advice line on all carer issues.
The Carers Trust offer advice to carers on employment issues.
The Employers for Carers organisation is committed to promoting the rights of carers in the work place, and stresses that it makes good economic sense to look after employees who are also looking after someone away from the work place.