Here at the Co-op we know that sometimes emergencies happen. We’ll always consider reasonable requests for time off to deal with these, so speak to your manager about what’s happened.

Crucial bits

Just so everyone’s clear, emergency leave is for unexpected emergencies and not for things you know about beforehand such as school holidays, or for long term arrangements. We trust that you’ll only ask for emergency leave when you really need it, and if you need this leave regularly we’ll need to talk about alternative arrangements, such as adjusting your pattern of work.

We know that modern life can be complicated, so there aren’t restrictions about the relationships or situations that we might give emergency leave for. We’ll always give you a reasonable amount of unpaid leave to care for a dependant in an emergency, but we want to go further than this. Talk to your manager about what’s happened and agree together what kind of support you need, including any leave.

It’s really important that you contact your manager as soon as possible if you need to take emergency leave and let them know how long you think you need off work to deal with the emergency, so they can make plans to cover your absence. And make sure you keep in regular touch with them so they know when to expect you back in work.

Things to think about

We know that every emergency situation is different but usually you’ll just need one or two days off to deal with the immediate problem, such as securing a damaged property or sorting out alternative childcare. You manager will agree with you what is reasonable in the circumstances. Your manager will talk to you about other options if you need more time, such as taking your holidays, parental leave, flexible working or a career break. Your manager may also want to discuss how things are with you once you return to work after taking emergency leave so they can make sure you are getting the right support.

Working from home rather than taking leave may be an option and if you think this’ll work, talk to your manager. Where you do need to take leave, your manager will consider things like how serious the situation is, if someone needs care how close you are to them and how hard you’ve tried to make other plans - and confirm whether this leave is paid or unpaid.

We’ll do our best to limit the effect on your pay wherever we can, like agreeing with you to make up the time where it’s possible. We want your pay to be right, so this should be recorded as either Paid or Unpaid Emergency Leave, as agreed with your manager.

If you need further support

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

Remember we have an Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) who can provide colleagues with support. You can contact the EAP on 0800 069 8854. It’s independent and totally confidential. And there’s no charge for Co-op colleagues.

Please click on the links below to see manager FAQs and an optional return to work discussion form for our Emergency Leave policy.