Talking to your employer
Caring can be unpredictable and care arrangements complex, so it may be helpful to talk to your employer about your concerns and commitments.
You may feel uncomfortable requesting flexibility, but your employer should have an interest in keeping you as a motivated and effective employee. Also, your right not to be discriminated against on the basis of caring responsibilities is protected by law
You can improve your chances of a positive outcome if you have thought everything through and have taken the needs of the workplace into account. You should:
- ensure you are aware of your entitlements
- suggest several options while remaining flexible and willing to explore alternatives
- keep the conversation focused on the solution, not the problem
- give your employer as much notice as possible.
Flexible working arrangements
There are many different ways of working flexibly, including:
- working from home
- having flexible start and finish times
- working compressed hours/weeks
- part-time work
- flexible holidays to fit in with alternative care arrangements
- transition to retirement.
Special leave arrangements and time off in emergencies
Workplaces often have emergency leave arrangements in place although these may be available only once or rarely. There are other leave arrangements that your employer might be able to offer, including:
- paid family, personal or carers leave
- unpaid leave
- borrowed or purchased recreational or long service leave
- sick leave for caring purposes
- time off (paid or unpaid) in emergencies
- bereavement leave.