Policies to Support Carers
A range of University policies can be used to help support employees who need time off to care for relatives or dependents either on a short or longer term basis.
Flexible working usually involves requests for permanent changes to working patterns but it is also possible to ask for temporary or rolling requests to be considered to help carers through difficult situations.
- A reduction in hours could be adopted for a 6 month period initially to allow a Carer to have more time for caring responsibilities. The arrangement could be reviewed after the initial agreed period and either extended or concluded depending on a Carer’s circumstances.
- Annualised hours could be adopted to allow a Carer to fulfil an agreed number of hours at work over a period of time, but allowing periods of time to be taken off to fulfil caring responsibilities.
The above are examples that have been adopted within the University. Other options can be explored with HR in the first instance.
If a carer needs time off to care for their child up to the age of 18 the parental leave policy may be of assistance.
Provided the parent has one year’s service he or she may take up to four weeks unpaid leave a year to care for a child (up to 18 weeks in total).
Time off for Dependents
Time off for dependents can be given to help a carer cope with the immediate impact of emergency situations such as a child falling ill at school or a parent having an accident and needing medical attention.
The University provides up to 10 days’ paid leave per calendar year (pro rata for part time employees) to help employees cope with unforeseen problems affecting people that they have responsibility for.
Special and Other Leave
In certain circumstances employees may apply for special leave to cope with difficult or unusual situations not covered by other policies.
This might include compassionate leave or bereavement leave.
Employees should speak to their line manager and/or HR for advice but all requests will be treated with sensitivity.