An employee is allowed time off to deal with an emergency involving a dependant. A dependant could be a spouse, partner, child, grandchild, parent, or someone who depends on them for care.
The employee is allowed a reasonable amount of time off to deal with the emergency, but there’s no set amount of time as it depends on the situation.
For example, if your child falls ill, they can take time off to go to the doctor and make care arrangements. As the employer, you can ask the employee to take annual leave or parental leave if they want to look after their child for longer.
There are no limits on how many times you can take time off for dependants. However, as the employer, you may want to talk to the employee if you think time off is affecting their work. Nor do you have to pay the employee for this time off. Make sure there is a clause in your Staff Handbook regarding this type of leave though.
Employees may be entitled to time off when a dependant is involved in the following emergencies.
- Illness, injury or assault – This includes mental or physical illnesses that don’t have to be life-threatening or need full-time care – it could be an existing condition that has worsened. For example, if a dependant is mugged without being physically hurt, they could take time off to comfort or help them.
- To arrange longer term care for a dependant.
- If a dependant goes into labour unexpectedly and they rely on your employee to take them to the hospital. However, they can’t take time off for dependants after the birth to care for the child, unless it’s an emergency.
- Disruption of care arrangements. For instance, a child minder or carer doesn’t turn up to look after a dependant or a nursing home or nursery closes unexpectedly.
- If and employees child is involved in an incident during school time. For example, if the child has been involved in a fight, injured on a school trip or suspended from school.
If you want to find out more about your obligations as an employer to allow employee’s emergency leave, give us a call – 01706 565332
Metis HR is a professional HR Consultancy based in the North West of England supporting clients across the country. We specialise in providing outsourced HR services to small and medium-sized businesses. Call us now on 01706 565332 to discuss how we may help you.