Support for carers

The University recognises that caring is an important role, and seeks to support staff with caring responsibilities wherever possible. Caring responsibilities can affect us all, may arise without warning, and may be temporary, long-term or permanent.  You may have caring responsibilities for relatives, or friends, or family overseas. Or you may be trying to juggle multiple caring responsibilities.

There are schemes to help you whoever you are caring for.... elderly relative

Carer hands

...a sick family member

daughter, father, doctor resized

...a disabled child

father and child in wheelchair resized

...lots of people

lots of hands resized

If you are a carer you are encouraged to disclose your caring responsibilities, in confidence, to your line manager, or another colleague such as a departmental administrator.  The University recognises that at times it may be difficult to combine work and caring responsibilities and expects managers to consider carefully any requests for support. All disclosures and requests will be dealt with in a confidential manner.

The University offers a range of support initiatives which seek to enable you to maintain a positive work-life balance at all stages of your life. 

Below you will find a summary of the support available and links to more information.

Flexible working

There are a range of flexible working options to help you to fit your work around care for dependants and to strike a better balance between work and family life. Options include part-time working, compressed hours, or working from home.  You may want to request a  permanent change to your working arrangement to manage a long-term care needs, or just work different hours for a short period to deal with a period of acute caring need. 

Find out more: flexible working

Additional annual leave

The University's holiday entitlement for employees is generous.  But, if your caring responsibilities mean that you need to take frequent days of leave, for example to accompany a dependant to medical or other appointments, take them shopping, or just spend time together, you may find that your annual leave entitlement doesn't leave you time for yourself.

From the start of the 2018/19 annual leave year, many departments will offer the University's Additional Annual leave scheme which allows you, through a salary sacrifice scheme, to access up to 10 additional days leave. 

Find out more: Additional Annual leave scheme.

Dealing with domestic emergencies and periods of acute caring responsibility

If you need to be absent from work to attend to acute/unexpected caring responsibilities or domestic emergencies the staff handbook outlines the provision for paid and/or unpaid leave to deal with this.

Find out more:  Staff handbook - time off to care for dependants/carers leave

Short-term carers' leave scheme

Mirroring the statutory unpaid parental leave scheme, carers can request up to four weeks carers' leave per year.  Leave is on an unpaid basis and taken in blocks of minimum one week.

Find out more:  Short-term carers' leave scheme.

Career break

If your caring responsibilities become too intense to continue working for a period of time, and you need to think about giving up work temporarily, you may be able to take a Career Break.  The Career Break scheme covers breaks of between one and 12 months.  

Find out more:  Career Break Scheme

My Family Care

University employees are eligible for free access to My Family Care, an external, national provider of information and support for those with caring, and other family responsibilities.  By registering with My Family Care you can access a "speak to an expert" phone service to answer questions you have about any aspect of caring, such as sourcing care for an elderly dependent, setting in place a power of attorney, or finding emergency back-up care for a dependant of any age. 

Via the My Family Care Website you can also access downloadable 'insider' guides and webinars.

Webinar library includes: Insider guides include: 
  • Caring from a distance
  • Resilience for carers
  • Caring & your career
  • Making decisions about care
  • Convalescence, rehabilitation and respite care
  • Power of attorney
  • Assistive devices

Find out more: My Family Care


Speak to your line manager if you need access to a quiet space during the day to make/receive phone calls from or about your dependants.

Peak-time car parking permits are very limited but are allocated on the basis of need according to set criteria (see the car parking standing orders for details). If you need to use your car to attend to dependent family members during the day you may be eligible to apply for a peak time parking permit.

External resources

For information about other organisations which provide information and support for carers click here.