Accessing support in the workplace
Sometimes contractual rights can be more generous than your statutory rights, so it's worth looking into your terms of employment or policies at work to see if they offer any benefits. You could also ask your employer if they offer any specific support for carers.
To put your mind at ease while you're at work, it could also be worth considering getting some extra support whilst you're away, such as a care worker for the person you are looking after.
Telling your employer about your caring role
It is your choice whether to tell your employer about your caring role or not.
To find out whether there is a carer’s policy or any extra support for carers in your workplace, you could check your contract of employment, staff handbook, HR policies or letter of appointment.
If there is a carer’s policy then what support it will offer will depend on your workplace. Examples include:
- carer's leave (paid and unpaid)
- time off to accompany the person you are looking after to appointments (paid or unpaid)
- a carer support group or contact.
Telling other staff about your caring role
Colleagues can be very supportive, and it may help simply to discuss your situation with someone you can trust at work.
Other colleagues may also have caring responsibilities, and sharing experiences may give you added motivation to talk to your employer about how you can be supported. This could even lead to the setting up of a support group or employee network.
Arranging extra support whilst you are in work
If you feel getting some additional support in place for the person you are looking after would help you balance working and caring, there are several paths you could choose from.
Assessments from your local council or trust
You and the person you are looking after could get assessments from your local council or health and social care trust (in Northern Ireland).
As assessment for the person you are looking after would look at their care and support needs. Some examples of the sort of support that might be an outcome of an assessment for the person you are looking after include: a care worker, a place at a day centre, meals delivered to their home, equipment and technology to help around the home or adaptations to the home.
Depending on the income and capital of the person you are looking after, they might need to contribute towards, or pay the full cost of, any support. For some further information on assessments for the person you are looking after, you can see our needs assessment page.
An assessment for you as a carer would look at your caring role, and whether you need any support in this role. For some further information on this type of assessment, take a look at our carer's assessment page.
Arranging care and support privately
If you would rather arrange care and support privately, then you could see if your local council/trust has a list of approved care providers in the area. You could also search on the following websites:
- Home Association – for care services
- in England the Care Quality Commission is the health and social care regulator and has an online directory of registered independent care services
- in Wales the Care Inspectorate Wales is responsible for inspecting social care and social services and has an online directory of registered care services
- in Scotland the Care Inspectorate regulates and inspects care services and has an online directory of registered care services
- in Northern Ireland the Regulation and Quality Improvement Authority is the independent health and social care regulator and has an online directory of registered care services.
Need extra support for your own needs?
You may be able to get financial support through a grant if you have a disability or physical or mental health condition and need support with this for your employment.
This could help pay for:
- BSL interpreters, lip speakers or note takers
- adaptations to your vehicle so you can get to work
- taxi fares to work or a support worker if you cannot use public transport
- a support worker or job coach to help you in your workplace.
See the UK Government's Access to Work page to find out about the criteria and what's involved.