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Any advice for anyone who is a carer and works full time. - Carers UK Forum

Any advice for anyone who is a carer and works full time.

Share information, support and advice on all aspects of caring.
Nearly three months ago my company (who had until then been really supportive) asked the question if there was they could do to support me... Sounds like a sensible and nice question.

Since then they've sent me to occupational health twice (the first time was awful, and the doctor was useless), got back results suggestive flexible working, carer agreement, stress assessment and regular reviews with occupational health (with the good doctor). They've said no to the last due to cost. They've already told me they are going to say no to flexible working. They've ignore the middle two. If they were going to ignore all of the advice from occupational health then why send me?

So without offering me any alternative support agreement, they want to remove my existing one (enables home working and paid time off for all of my partner's appointments). Can they do this?
Sarah, sorry, I don't know the answer to your question but works suggest you call the Carers UK helpline as I'm sure they will. Also, are you in a union at all? They would be able to offer you support with tackling your employer.
Good luck!
Jx
From my long-ago days as a working mum, I have a feeling that employees are entitled to ASK for flexible working, but employers are not obliged to allow it.... (fat lot of use, then really!)

Things might have changed, hower??

Sounds like your company only offered you all that 'consultation' because it actually wanted to stop you working flexibly?

Do, indeed, consult professional employement advice, or even join a union specifically to obtain it - do NOT 'rely' on your employer's HR department - HR departments, however sympathetic they sound, or may indeed actually be, are employed by employers - they are NOT on the side of the employee! They have to act in the interests of employers, not the staff.

It might possibly be that if you are already work flexible hours, that might now constitute your 'terms and conditions' and is not therefore at the discretion of your employer, and if they try and change that back to inflexible working they may be in breach of your contract, and if they seek to impose it and you resign, that could be constructive dismissal?

Until you have your own professional expert advice on the matter, I would say sign nothing and agree to nothing.....

All the very best - Jenny.
Hi Sarah,
I'm not sure if I'm about to offer the sort of advice you are looking for or not but I am certainly speaking from experience.
You get to a tipping point where to coina phrase there aren't enough hours in the day -quite literally so you have to make some choices, sometimes some you hadn't anticipated
Do you enjoy the job or is it just a way of bringing in income?
If it's the latter look for some alternatives and think out of the box. For me I've always worked in a "finance career" and now do care work early in the mornings and also alternate week ends. This plus carers allowance and attendance allowance comes to more than I was on before if you take travel costs into account.
If you love your job and think you couldn't live without it- can you do similar work part tie somewhere else with CA as top up?
If you really have to and want to work fullt ime then your caree must pay (or be funded) for some professional care help to ease your burden or you will explode. I would put your own health central to your decision and work around that.
Thanks for the feedback everyone. Work today told me that I will get no support at all, they are going to remove my existing agreement and I'm not allowed any other.

So we've agreed I'm leaving at the end of next month. :( they've said it's not due to the quality of my work.

Time to get some legal advice, as they've dismissed the flexible working request without adhering to the proper legal procedure ie provide a clear reason against it with the options stated.
Hi Sarah, I would contact ACAS. They have been helpful to me in the past. http://m.acas.org.uk/index.aspx?articleid=4663

Also check out the carers uk information; http://www.carersuk.org/help-and-advice/work-and-career

Melly1
Sarah,

That is awful. I too would recommend contacting Acas and also possibly this organisation, http://www.employersforcarers.org/resources/the-law. How long have you worked for the company? Over two years and you have rights. Under two years it is not so simple.

For what it's worth, I too work full-time and care for my mum. My company allows me to work from home as and when I need to and take time off for mum's hospital appointments. Many companies do more than my own.

I know when you are caring, it is difficult to summon up the energy to fight but I do believe you have the law on your side. One word of advice, make sure you get all your company's comments in writing. If they refuse, email them a record of the conversations so that you have "proof".

Good luck, Anne
Thanks everyone, I'm trying to find some legal advice but not sure how to find a good solicitor.
Hi Sarah,
Don't worry about employing a lawyer just yet (might be possible to get it funded by some legal expenses insurance on your car insurance or house insurance though - they funded £10,000 of legal help for me a while ago).
Just ring ACAS. As part of my degree I studied employment law. When I contacted ACAS for information, they gave me everything I needed to know, and I got very high marks, all free of charge! What your employers are trying to do is unlawful, as you are covered by what used to be called the Disability Discrimination Act, which requires them to make "reasonable adjustments". It could also be decided by an employment tribunal that it amounts to "constructive dismissal", roughly translated into making things so difficult you have no alternative to leave. I'm sure that if you take advice from ACAS and then go back to your employers mentioning the words "tribunal" and "constructive dismissal" they will think again, or you might be able to claim thousands of pounds compensation.
Carers UK helpline is also wonderful, in your circumstances I would suggest ringing both.
Sarah,
This is awful treatment by your employer, I agree with the comments you have a strong case
so I wish you all the best.
I too am a full-time working carer and know only too well how difficult it is.