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Caring and Work - Carers UK Forum

Caring and Work

Share information, support and advice on all aspects of caring.
Hi , I just wondered whether any of you successfully managed to juggle work and caring? - if so , what agreements do you have in place with work?

I am the main carer for my father and he is very ill. I also work full time. I am really struggling to juggle work and caring. My employer had agreed a non working day but I frequently end up having to work on it and they have just said they want me to go around the country on visits which I just wont be able to do. It would mean I wouldn't be able to see Dad in hospital. Things are getting very tricky - Im surviving on just a few hours sleep each day to work and care . Do any of you have sympathetic employers and if so what agreements have you reached around flexible working? Thanks
Hi Faye.

For the full sp on flexible working and caring , the following links will be of assistance :

https://www.nidirect.gov.uk/articles/ca ... le-working


Government site and ACAS.

Suffice to add , a real post code lottery out there despite the guidelines and legislation.
Hi Faye
Although there are good intentions at government level, any 'flexibilty' that actually reaches the employee trends to be at a cost, to the employee.
I, for example work part time, but for part time money
A colleague is taking odd days off for hospital appointments, but is having to take it unpaid

In your situation , if you can afford it, it might be better to ask for a sabbatical or an extended period of unpaid leave

For an employers point of view, they need to know who is available and when. For most, uncertainty or short notice absences are what is dificult to manage. Sudden absence can often be seen as unreliability and put them off consider carers for promotion etc

Unless a carer has a full staff of outside carers or other family then it is very very difficult to maintain full time work for full time pay if in a long term caring situation.
I found it challenging to maintain full-time employment with long distance caring especially when things went wrong.

I was secondary carer for my former MIL and I actually found that easier (as was not having field 'crisis calls' rather escorting to appointments etc) But then I did have flexi-time with only 3.5 core hours per day.

I think all you can do is be upfront that you will struggle to accommodate being sent to places at short notice. Are you able to offer something else that company needs? E.g. able work on saturday perhaps? I think 'diluting' negative message with a positive aspect could help and its something wish I dod more of when in full-time employment.
I changed my job and found the only kind of paid employment that worked for me when caring for Dad was Care Work, yep a busman's holiday but a very understanding employer. I dropped more and more hours as Dad's health declined and fitted my available hours for work around hospital visits , meals at home etc. When Dad was End Of Life I stopped doing regular work altogether but picked it up gradually again after I lost him. Brilliant Company that I work for mind.