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Carer's Leave Policy

The University's Carer's Leave Policy enables colleagues to take up to 3 weeks’ unpaid leave in a rolling 12-month period, for the purpose of caring for, or arranging care for, a dependant with a long-term care need. This is separate from, and additional to, the existing entitlement to time off in emergency situations, provided for in the Special Leave Policy, and provides colleagues with further support in meeting their caring responsibilities. 

Who is a Carer?

Carers are members of staff with significant caring responsibilities that have a substantial impact on their working life. A staff member is a carer if they are responsible for the care and support of a disabled, elderly or sick partner, relative or friend who is unable to care for themselves.

The activities that staff with caring responsibilities undertake are wide ranging, including, but not limited to:

  • help with personal care;
  • help with mobility;
  • managing medication;
  • practical household tasks;
  • emotional support;
  • help with financial matters or paperwork; and
  • being a supportive advocate.

The University understands that every caring situation is different and can change over time. Therefore the policies below allow flexibility in their use and cover a range of circumstances. Employees and Managers are encouraged to discuss carers support as they occur and during any points of change.

Guidance for Carers and Managers

In addition to the current polices which can support carers the University has guidance for carers which provides information on wellbeing, practical advice in the workplace for carers as well as support available in the University and elsewhere. Furthermore, the managers guidance provides advice to managers on supporting members of staff who are carers and information on how they can implement University policies, encourage conversations early and ensure carers are supported in the workplace.

Carers Guidance for Staff
Carers Guidance for Managers

Further to this, the University engaged with Carers UK to host two 'Lunch and Learn' sessions for employees with caring responsibilities and managers of carers.

The sessions discussed:

  • What it means to be a carer
  • Legal rights
  • What employers can do to support carers & Employee Manager Checklist
  • Practical Tips
  • Financial Information

Available for download:
Carers UK Presentation for Carers
Carers UK Presentation for Managers

Short Term, Long Term and Emergency Care

Emergency Care and Carer's Leave

The Compassionate, Dependent, Emergency and Personal leave policy covers a range of different circumstances which may arise for a carer and the dependant leave allows for up to two days paid, and up to five days at line manager discretion. The University's Carer's Leave Policy offers a further three weeks unpaid leave in a rolling 12-month period, for the purpose of caring for, or arranging care for, a dependant with a long-term care need.

Long Term Care

The flexible working policy can provide carers with an opportunity to continue their career and support their family financially, as well as maintaining their caring responsibilities.

  • Employees can apply for changes in contractually agreed working patterns relating to the number of hours they work, the times they work and where they work.
  • Examples of Flexible Working arrangements include working from home, flexi-time, job sharing, term-time working, shift working, compressed hours and annualised hours.

Employees must have a minimum of 26 weeks' service at the University at the time of application and must not have made a Flexible Working request within the previous 12 months to be eligible to apply, unless there has been a substantial change in circumstance.

Medical Appointments

Often carers are required to attend medical appointments with their dependants and the University recognises the difficulties this can incur. Wherever possible, appointments should be made outside of working hours or at the start / end of the day. However, where this is not possible Managers should use their discretion to allow flexibility.

Being a Supportive Advocate

As well as having caring responsibilities for a dependent, staff members may also be an advocate.
An advocate might help their dependent access information they need or go with them to meetings or medical appointments in a supportive role. Managers and employees should discuss the impact the role of an advocate may have on their role and allow flexibility to support advocacy as outlined in the below policy and guidance.

Carers’ Network

The University Carers’ Network provides an opportunity for carers to meet and socialise for peer support as well as an opportunity to feed back and inform the support the University provides for carers. Meetings are advertised on the Carers’ Network webpages and we would encourage all managers of carers to support their staff in attending.
Find out more (staff only)

Employee Assistance Programme

The free EAP service offers employees 24 hours a day, 365 days per year access to telephone counselling, information services and short term face to face counselling, close to where they live or work, or online.
Find out more about the services that EAP offers (staff only)

Validium Carers’ Support Pack

The Validium carers pack (staff only) provides you with tips on caring for yourself whilst caring for others, information on how counselling may help you throughout your caring responsibilities, adjusting to change, relieving stress, supporting family matters and signposting to other Validium services which may be useful to you.

Carers’ Car Park

The University has two dedicated car parks for carers. These car parks open at 8.45am to provide spaces for staff with caring responsibilities.
For more information visit our Car Parking web page (staff only). 

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