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Work/Caring balance? - Carers UK Forum

Work/Caring balance?

For issues specific to caring for someone with mental ill health.

I'm new and am wondering if there are any other carers on here like me that work whilst looking after an adult child with BPD?

How do you manage to juggle both?

My employer of 15 years allows me to work flexibly but is becoming increasingly exasperated at my inability to consistently carry out my role to the required standard as I am often upset and unable to concentrate because of the chaos, fear and distress that runs alongside this disorder.

I am heading towards formal disciplinary action for incapability and really do not want to lose my job but when things get scary I find it hard to hold myself together at work.

I know that it will only get worse if I do lose my job as my son would blame himself so any ideas or advice would be much appreciated.

Thanks for taking the time to read my post.
Hi Cathryn.
I'm not quite in the same situation in that my sons issues are now manageable and that I work part time but I just wanted to say 'Hi' and welcome. I'm sure others with more relevant experience will respond in due course - they do exist but each is stretched for forum time especially if they're in a crisis episode.

I think one of the first questions is if you've had a carers assessment?

Again, welcome
Cathryn, one of the things I've learnt about here on this forum is something called 'Disabled by Association' - from what I understand it's what applies when someone in employment (you) is a carer for someone who is disabled. Again, from what I understand, that means that the laws on non-discrimination for the disabled are applied to you, the carer, as you are 'disabled by association'. That should, I would think, imply that a degree of lenience and tolerance has to be applied by employers, towards any staff who are 'disabled by association'.

BUT, I don't know quite how much 'leniency' and 'toleration' the law requires, OR, perhaps more to the point, whether your son's condition counts as being disabled.

PLEASE do get this all checked out before ANY disciplinary action is taken by your employers, or ANY warnings, cautions, etc etc etc come from them.

Others here far more knowledgeable about this than I will, I hope, be here before too long, but even if not, please email the helpline here (apparently it's the best way to get a promter reply, as the telephone line is often very busy) AND I would look up disability/discrimination/employment law, AND, if possible, join whatever union is most appropriate for your line of work (there's always one! Unison is often a 'catch all') - unions are on OUR side as employees (unlike HR departments!), and will advise and often be physically present during any 'nastiness' with emploeyrs (my union rep was with me when I was made redundant, and I was really, really greateful!)

Wishing you all the best in a very distressing siutaiton.
Hi Cathy and welcome. I am in a similar situation to you I am a carer for my schizophrenic son and I work full time as a registered nurse. I have been lucky so far in that my employers have been understanding when I have had to take carers leave or go home early because of a crisis. Jenny Is spot on about the unions as I know if I were to be disiplined they would be behind me. The part I find hardest is trying to obtain time off for all his hospital appts as I have to be there or they will only get half the story. I think Jenny gave good advice and will be looking into the disabled by association thing myself as I do feel mental illness is certainly a disability. I have also started attending a rethink support group and they have talks from a barrister sometimes who can answer legality questions . Unfortunately had to miss the last meeting as I was working :angry: I wish you all good luck
Hi, and welcome.

My son has gained access to a direct payment which enables me to employ a support worker when I am at work - at my insistence. My argument was simply that I needed to work for my own sanity, and it worked out a lot cheaper for them than having to provide him with a 24 ht care package . They got the point,.

Your employer has a legal duty to talk with you about your needs as a carer.

Also known as time off for dependants, the Employment Rights Act 1996 (in Northern Ireland The Employment Rights (Northern Ireland) Order 1996) gives all employees the right to take a 'reasonable' amount of time off work to deal with an emergency involving a dependant. Whether the time off is paid or not is at the discretion of the employer.

Also see this leaflet, which explains all: http://www.carersuk.org/files/helpandad ... e-2014.pdf