If you are thinking of leaving work it is important to consider the full implications.
Think about the things you would be giving up, and whether you really want to lose them:
- Will you manage with less money?
- Do you want to give up the independence and social contact you have through your work?
- Will you lose valuable skills if you leave?
- How would leaving work affect your future pension entitlement?
Then think about ways around the problem, could you:
- Make a request for flexible working?
- Take paid or unpaid leave to think about your long-term options?
- Take a career break?
- Ask for extra help from social services?
- Buy in care?
Talk to you employer
Remember that employers value skilled, experienced and committed members of staff and are keen to keep them. Your employer may be able to help in ways you have not considered. Talk to them about your situation, directly or through your HR/personnel officer or union or staff association representative.
Ask for help with caring
Social services are the department in your local council responsible for providing support for old/disabled people and their families and carers. Carers have a right to an assessment which looks at the help you need to manage your caring role.
Find out about buying in private care
If you are not able to get help from social services, or are given direct payments (instead of services) to make your own care arrangements, you may be able to buy in care services yourself. To get the help you need, you can either use an agency or recruit the help yourself.
Find out about your benefit entitlements
You can ask social services (if they have a welfare rights team), a local advice agency or Carers UK's Adviceline for a benefits check. This will tell you which benefits you will be able to claim and what your income would be if you were to give up work or reduce the hours you work, and could help you to prepare for a change in your financial circumstances.
The right to choose
Remember that making alternative care arrangements so that you can work can create conflict and/or cause feelings of guilt. What you decide must be right for you as well as others - you have the right to choose, and that means to choose to give up work as well as to stay.
If you do decide to leave work, make sure you check all your options before you resign, for example can you take a career break, voluntary redundancy or early retirement?