Yes. All employees, regardless of their length of service, have the right to take a reasonable amount of unpaid time off where it is necessary to care for a dependent. A dependent includes the spouse, civil partner, child and parents of the employee and others who reasonably rely on the employee for care or assistance. However, this right only applies in five specified circumstances
To avail themselves of this right, an employee must inform their employer as soon as reasonably practicable and how long they expect to be absent.
The legislation is intended to cover a situation where there is an immediate crisis. Therefore this right would not cover, for example, time off to take a child to a planned medical appointment but this could potentially be covered by parental leave. It would also not cover a situation where the employee needed to take time off to stay home because a pipe had burst and their house had been flooded. A compliant policy is available at TD2: Time Off for Dependants Policy.
TD2 – Time off for dependants policy
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