Carers and Employment
Trying to juggle your caring role with paid employment can be challenging, so you may find the following information useful.
Right to request flexible working
Flexible working patterns can allow employees to manage both work and their caring responsibilities. Flexible working could include flexible starting and finishing hours, compressed working hours, annualised working hours, term-time working, job sharing, part time working, home-working or tele-working.
You have the right to request flexible working if you are an employee with 26 weeks continuous employment at the date you make an application.
The law gives you the right to make one application per year for flexible working. However, your employer may be sympathetic if you find your circumstances have changed and you need to make a further application.
The request to work flexibly must be made in writing and dated and should include:
- an outline of the working pattern you would like
- an explanation of the effect, if any, you think the proposed change might have on your job and, how you think this could be dealt with.
- the date on which you would like the proposed change to start.
- whether you have made a previous request and, if so, the date of that request.
Your employer can only refuse your request if they have good business reasons for it. It is important to consider the needs of your company when you make your request, and to include as much information as you can about how your proposed change will help the business as well as you, or how you can deal with any possible negative impact you think your employer may be concerned about.
Your employer may have a standard form for you to use or you can use a form available from the Carers UK website [external link]
Employers for Carers
This is a service for employers to help them retain the 1 in 9 employees in their workforce who have a caring responsibility. The peak age for caring is 45–64 when many employees have gained valuable skills and experience. With fewer young people entering the job market – and in the current economic climate - there has never been a more important time to focus on the benefits of retaining skilled workers rather than incurring the costs of recruiting and retraining new staff. EfC is managed and supported by the specialist knowledge of Carers UK and is steered by a Leadership Group of employers. For more information, visit the Employers for Carers website [external link].
In addition, SMEs in Darlington (businesses with under 250 employees) are now able to access FREE umbrella membership via Darlington Borough Council, which gives businesses and their employees full access to the EfC website, which provides information for staff to support them in their caring role and gives managers the information they need to support their staff who are carers.
For more information, or to take up umbrella membership, please contact Lisa Holdsworth, Darlington Borough Council Carers Lead, on (01325) 405861 or via email Lisa.Holdsworth@darlington.gov.uk .
Support from Job Centre Plus
If you aren’t currently working but would like to so, Jobcentre Plus can help you to get back to work. For more information about the support available to help you combine your caring role with paid employment, contact Debbie Gilbert at Darlington Jobcentre Plus on 01325 385085.