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Employment Rights for Carers

Discrimination at work

You are protected from discrimination because of your caring responsibilities.  For more information about taking action if you feel you have been treated unfairly at work because of your caring responsiblities see the Citizens Advice Discrimination at work pages.

Flexible working arrangements

Employees can legally apply for flexible working if they’ve worked continuously for the same employer for the last 26 weeks. It’s known as ‘making a statutory application.’

This right can be asked for, but employers do not have to grant requests for flexible working.

ACAS outlines the process on its website and gives information about what you can do to progress an application.

More information about flexible working 

Unpaid time off for emergencies

Carers have the right to take unpaid time off work to support the cared-for person in the case of an emergency – there is no requirement to have worked for an employer for a minimum amount of time.

More information on time off for emergencies

Employment Law can be complex and it is a good idea to get further advice and information – especially if you are considering requesting flexible working arrangements.

  • In some cases, large employers may have policies setting out these rights and how to apply for them – ask your employer or Human Resources department
  • Talk to your union if you are a member
  • Government advice is available on flexible working – you can find out how to go about applying and how to appeal if needed
  • Ask for advice from a carers support organisation
  • Contact Citizens Advice. You can find out more information on their website about employment rights or speak to an adviser
  • Contact ACAS  They offer an online helpline service, an automated system designed to give a straighforward answer and links to more information, or if you need more individual advice you canring the ACAS Helpline on 0300 123 1100 – open Monday to Friday 8am to 6pm.


A carer may be eligible for Government Benefits related to their caring role – find out more about these Benefits

Helpful services for carers
Recovery resources for professionals