For many carers, the workplace provides a sense of identity, independence and a break from their caring role, in addition to financial security, however, having caring responsibilities can make working difficult.
Carers Leeds offer support to retain life-balance as well as information and guidance that can help carers remain in employment.
Do I have rights as a working carer?
There are statutory rights that most carers have in work, such as the right to request flexible working, the right to not be discriminated against, the right to take time off work to deal with an emergency or an unforeseen matter involving a dependant and the right to parental leave.
As well as statutory rights, there might be additional contractual rights that you have in your work, and so it is always worth checking your contract of employment, staff handbook, HR policies or letter of appointment to see if you have any contractual rights on top of your statutory rights.
Requesting flexible working
Working flexibly means working a different work pattern to the way you work now, for example, flexible starting and finishing hours, job share, working from home, etc.
You have the right to request flexible working if you are an employee with 26 weeks continuous employment at the time you make an application. The law gives you the right to make one flexible working application a year.
Your employer has a duty to deal with your request within a reasonable time, in a reasonable manner, and must give careful consideration to your request. Your employer can only refuse your request if they have good business reasons for it and this should be explained in writing.
If you want to ask for flexible working check your employment contract and talk to your HR team/officer about what options are available where you work.
Information and guidance is available to help you. Here are some useful links:
ACAS helpline: 0300 123 1100
Offers help and advice for both employers and employees about the right to request flexible working.
Citizens Advice: www.citizensadvice.org.uk/work/rights-at-work/flexible-working.
Provides guidance on eligibility and preparing a Flexible Working request.
Flexible Working Application Form: www.gov.uk/government/publications/the-right-to-request-flexibleworking-form.
Carers Advice Line: 0113 380 4300
Offers information, advice and support to carers. Monday to Friday: 9am to 4:30pm and Wednesday: 8am to 6:30pm. Find out more about support for working carers here: https://www.carersleeds.org.uk/wc2/
Working with Employers
Carers Leeds work closely with employers to improve access to support for working carers, provide training, influence policy and exchange good practice.
If your employer would like to find out more about how their business can best support working carers, employers can contact Madlen Sayar, Working Carers Service Co-ordinator on 0113 246 8338.
Find out more here: https://www.carersleeds.org.uk/employers/