Your time off work to care for a family member is sadly not without financial benefits, though it can depend on where you live, your employment status, and the type of role you have. In the UK, employees get 12 weeks of general paternity or maternity leave. Part-time employees are entitled to four weeks of statutory maternity pay. In addition, employees can take 18 weeks’ unpaid leave to care for a family member, for example, a child, parent, or spouse. Different rules apply to self-employed workers, but it is still possible to be entitled to paid time off.
What is a carer’s leave?
If you’re the parent of a child with special needs, you should be aware that the government legislation around carers’ leave is complex and confusing. Carer’s leave is short-term leave available to parents of a child with special needs who are taking care of their child at home for at least six months. Carer’s leave is designed to give parents a break without jeopardizing their child’s welfare. Care leave is granted as a short-term leave from work. Parents can request a carer’s leave from their employer following their child with special needs’ recent diagnosis.
If you’re a parent, you may qualify for unpaid carers leave from your job. If you’re eligible, your employer is required to make a reasonable effort to accommodate your need for carers leave, but these requirements vary by state. If your employer discriminates against you on the basis of your need for carers leave, you can file a complaint with the EEOC. Employees who are carers may find themselves in a situation where they need to take a period of leave to care for an ill relative. Do you get paid for carers leave? Some employers allow carers to access their paid carer’s leave, allowing them to benefit from the leave regardless of whether they are actively caring for the relative. These employers will pay the employee for the carer’s leave, but the employee is still entitled to pay for the hours they actually spend caring for their relative. However, not all employers have the same policies, so it’s worth checking with your employer to see if you are entitled to payment.