Your rights at work
You may be able to apply for flexible working under the Employment Rights Act 1996.
This applies to everyone rather than just Carers.
From 30 June 2014, anyone has the right to request flexible working for any reason as long as you have worked for the same employer for at least 26 weeks.
Juggling work and care can be very challenging. It’s important to find out about your rights and about any support that is available. Your rights at work come from two sources:
• The law gives you ‘statutory rights’ which everyone has
• Your contract of employment gives you ‘contractual rights’, which can be more generous than statutory rights.
The following information is about statutory rights. However, it is always worth checking your contract of employment, staff handbook or letter of appointment to see if you have any contractual rights on top of your statutory rights.
All employees have a right to request flexible working after they have worked for the same employer for 26 weeks (six months), as long as they haven’t already made a flexible working request within the last 12 months. Employers can only refuse requests for certain specified reasons.
Examples of flexible working include:
• Home working
• Part-time working
• Term-time working
• Working compressed hours
• Job sharing
• Shift work.
Requests should be in writing stating the date of the request and whether any previous application has been made and the date of that application.
Requests and appeals must be considered and decided upon within three months of the receipt of the request.
Employers must have a sound business reason for rejecting any request.
Employees can only make one request in any 12 month period.
Unpaid Parental Leave
Parental leave is for employees to take time off work to look after a child’s welfare, this leave is normally unpaid, and is available for each child up to their 18th birthday.
Eligible employees can take unpaid leave to look after their child’s welfare for example:
Spend more time with their children
Settle children into new childcare arrangements
Spend more time with their family
Employees must have completed one year’s continuous service with an employer to qualify.
They are named on the child’s birth or adoption certificate or they have or expect to have parental responsibility
The child is under 18
18 weeks of unpaid leave can be taken up for children
under 18 years
The limit on how much parental leave each parent can take in a year is 4 weeks for each child (unless the employer agrees otherwise).
You must take parental leave as whole weeks (e.g. 1 week or 2 weeks) rather than individual days, unless your employer agrees otherwise or if your child is disabled. You don’t have to take all the leave at once.
A ‘week’ equals the length of time an employee normally works over 7 days.
Employees will need to request leave giving at least 21 days notice before the intended start date.
Employers may ask for the notice to be in writing.
As long as the employee qualifies for parental leave and gives the employer the correct notice the employee should be able to take parental leave at any time.
An employee will remain employed while on parental leave and some terms of the contract, such as contractual notice and redundancy terms, still apply.