Here at the Co-op we know that some of our colleagues balance their work with caring responsibilities – whether for sick, elderly or disabled relatives, partners or friends.

We want to support colleagues who are carers, so talk to your manager about your situation and the support you need.

Crucial Bits

Most importantly, you’ll never suffer any disadvantage from telling us that you are a carer, so please tell your manager if you’re caring for someone. They’ll treat this confidentially if you ask.

We’ll always try to agree reasonable requests for time off work for your caring responsibilities. This includes if you have short-term caring responsibilities, for example if you’re fostering a child.

We’ll only turn down a request if it’s going to cause problems for the business - so talk to your manager to agree the arrangements.

Things to think about

Flexible working might help you to manage your work and caring responsibilities - see the Flexible Working Policy for more information.

If you need a longer period of time off work to care for someone then a career break might be helpful - see the Career Break Policy for more information.

If you need time off in an emergency, this is covered by our Emergency Leave Policy.

If you have a caring responsibility you can ask to have a carers’ assessment carried out by your local social services department to check you’re getting the support that you need.

We’ll try to agree for you to take time off work to attend a carers’ assessment. It might be possible for this to take place at your workplace, so talk to your manager.

If you need to make or receive urgent calls in connection with being carer, agree with your manager about having access to a telephone at work, ideally somewhere private.

If we can’t give you paid time off we’ll do our best to limit the effect on your pay wherever we can, like agreeing for you to make up the time where it’s possible, or agreeing for you to take holiday.

We want your pay to be right, so this should be recorded as either Paid or Unpaid Carers Leave, as agreed with your manager.

If you need further support

If you have any questions about support for carers, please speak to your manager. If managers need advice they can contact ER Services.

You may need additional support, so remember we have an Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) who can help. You can contact the EAP in confidence on 0800 069 8854.

You can also contact Carers UK for free, impartial advice about caring on 0808 808 7777 or or Carers Direct on 0808 802 0202.