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Time off for dependants

All employees have the right to time off during working hours for dependants to deal with unforeseen matters and emergencies. There is no legal right to be paid; however some employers may offer a contractual right to pay under the terms and conditions of employment.

A dependant could be a spouse, partner, child, parent, or someone who depends on you for care, such as an elderly neighbour.

The leave can be taken, for example, to:

  • Deal with a breakdown in childcare
  • To put longer term care in place for children or elderly relatives
  • If a dependant falls ill or is taken into hospital
  • To arrange or attend a funeral

The right is to a reasonable amount of time off. What is meant by "reasonable" is not defined. In most cases, a day or two will be sufficient to deal with the immediate crisis, but it will depend on the individual circumstances. You must tell your employer the reason for the absence as soon as possible, and how long you expect to be absent.

Contact us for more information on time off for dependants.

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