Last Updated 15 Jan 2020 in Work Life Balance
If you have caring responsibility for someone else we will do our best to support you by being flexible – the policy outlines how we do this.
Key points covered:
Discussing your caring responsibilities with your line manager
How to request required time off work
Keeping in contact with the person you care for
If you would like to talk to someone confidentially about your caring responsibilities please call the Employee Assistance Programme helpline free on 0843 208 4568.
About this Policy
The Society recognises that some colleagues have to balance their work commitment with caring responsibilities. The Society is keen to support any colleagues who have responsibility for caring for others, and we would encourage colleagues to be open with their line manager so that there can be discussions about the support which the colleague feels that they need from the Society.
For the purpose of this policy, a carer is a colleague who provides or intends to provide a period of unpaid care for an individual who is, ill, disabled, elderly, or has other long-term care needs.
Colleagues who require time off to in the event of an emergency for example, to care for a dependent please refer to the Society’s Emergency Leave Policy.
Time off Work
The Society will always endeavour to agree to reasonable requests for unpaid time off work to accommodate colleagues who have caring responsibilities. Colleagues should meet with their line manager to discuss a request for unpaid time off work and provide written notification of their intention by submitting an unpaid leave request form (form UL1).
Requests will only be rejected where the request for time off may significantly impact the business operations.
The carer’s policy is intended to deal with short-term needs, colleagues who wish to change their working hours permanently due to caring responsibilities, please refer to the Society’s Flexible Working Policy.
Parents who wish to take unpaid time off to care for a child please refer to the Society’s Parental Leave Policy.
Some colleagues may need time off work to deal with an emergency situation, and this type of leave request is covered by the Society’s Emergency Leave Policy.
Colleagues are also reminded that the Society has a Career Break Policy which provides another potential option for colleagues who wish to consider taking an extended period of time off work.
The Society will exclude any absences from the attendance management process where the reason for absence is linked to the care of someone who is disabled according to the Equality Act.
The Society will make every effort to limit the effect on colleagues pay. Wherever possible, colleagues will be allowed to make up lost time, or book annual leave, in order to reduce the financial loss which the colleague suffers. All periods of leave should be recorded in Kronos using the correct pay code with the reason for the absence detailed in the comments box provided where necessary.
For colleagues seeking financial support from the local social services department, please contact them with queries and make a request for a carers’ assessment.
If a colleague needs to make or receive urgent calls in connection with their carer responsibilities, they must agree this with their line manager, particularly because there are some areas within the business where use of a phone is otherwise prohibited.
If you have any questions regarding this policy or require additional support, you should speak to your line manager. Alternatively, you can contact the HR advisor for your business group, or contact the HR Advice Line on 01926 516469.
The Society has partnered with GroceryAid to provide colleagues with a FREE confidential helpline service. For help and advice colleagues can contact the confidential 24/7 GroceryAid Helpline by calling 08088 021 122. A live webchat is also available here. There is also a wide range of guidance and support resources available at www.groceryaid.org.uk.