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The impact of leaving work 

Leaving work to take on caring responsibilities can feel like an immense step to take.

It is important to consider all of your options and to weigh up in advance whether this is the right decision for you. We provide information and guidance on available support.

Do I have to leave work?

Before you make the decision to leave work, it's important to consider the implications, and to explore any options that could help make your working and caring roles more manageable. For example, could you explore the possibility of reducing your hours? Could you have a more flexible working arrangement?

For more ideas and information about these possibilities, see our videos offering tips and suggestions from carers and our page on requesting flexible working.

 

How will leaving work or reducing my hours affect my finances?

If you decide to leave work or reduce your hours, you may become eligible for Carer's Allowance or other benefits or tax credits, depending on your circumstances. 

Before making any decisions, it is therefore a good idea to get a benefits check to see what your financial situation would look like if you were to leave work or reduce your hours.  

Note: You can get a benefits check online*or contact our Helpline onadvice@carersuk.org 

*(It will take about 20 minutes to complete. These online tools are not suitable for everyone. Special rules apply to some groups of people, for example students, people under 18, people in permanent residential care, UK nationals who live abroad and people who are not British or Irish citizens.) 

For information about different benefits and tax credits, also see our webpages: Getting financial supportAs a starting point, it could be helpful to work out what costs are involved. 

 

Unhappy man sitting on sofa

 

No idea where to start with working out the costs? 

You could start by using a budget-planning tool like this one provided on the Money Helper website.

This tool could help you get a picture of your income and outgoings so that you can make more informed decisions about your finances and understand any financial risks or changes future situations might bring.

 

What about my pension?

If you gave up work, you would no longer be treated as paying National Insurance (NI) through employment. It’s important to consider the impact this will have on your NI record, as it will affect your future pension entitlement. 

Some benefits, such as Carer’s Allowance, can give NI contribution credits, which can help to protect your record. If you can’t claim Carer’s Allowance you may be able to claim Carer’s Credit to help protect your record. For further information see our online guidance: Planning ahead - pension help. 

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