Balancing care with work & education

Juggling work & care

Looking after someone can take up a lot of your time and effort. 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. But there are things that you can do to help you cope with the pressures of work and care.

Check if 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; for example, to work part-time or flexi-time, or to do some or all of your job from home
  • information about your employer's own policies for carers in the workplace: for example, career breaks, 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 a community care 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.

Coordinating your care arrangements
If you have a smart phone or a tablet then you can download the Jointly app; this makes caring for someone a little easier, less stressful and a lot more organised by making communication and coordination between those who share the care as easy as a text message.

Other information and advice
Contact the ACAS Helpline for free, confidential advice on all aspects of employment rights on 0300 123 1100.

Carers UK has advice and information on your rights in the workplace as a carer, and maintaining a balance between work and your responsibilities as a carer. There is also an advice service and telephone advice line on all carer issues.

Carers Trust offers advice to carers on employment issues.

Employers for Carers 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.