Law guide: Workplace

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Who can ask for carer's leave

Who can ask for carer's leave

What is carer's leave?

Employees who have dependants needing long-term care have a statutory right to take up to a week of unpaid time off to provide or arrange care for them. This is known as carer's leave.

You will be entitled to carer's leave from the day you start work (without needing a minimum period of service). You must have a qualifying relationship with the dependant.

Note: this is separate from the rights to:

Qualifying for carer's leave

To qualify for carer's leave, you must be taking the time off to provide or arrange care for your dependant.

A dependant must be one of the following:

  • Your spouse, civil partner, child or parent.
  • Someone living in the your household (but not as your employee, boarder, lodger or tenant).
  • Someone who reasonably relies on you to provide or arrange care for them.

The dependent must have a long-term care need, which means that:

  • they have an illness or injury (physical or mental) that requires, or is likely to require, care for more than 3 months;
  • they have a disability as defined by the Equality Act; or
  • they require care for a reason that's connected with their old age.

A person is disabled under the Equality Act if they have a physical or mental impairment that has a substantial and long-term effect on their ability to do normal daily activities.

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