Employee having time off for dependants?

Employees do have the right to time off during their working hours for dependents (spouse, child, parent or someone which depends on the employee for care). This is for circumstances where unforeseen matters or emergencies arise. There is no legal requirement to pay the employee but some employers may offer a contractual right under the terms and conditions of the employment contracts.

However, the right is for reasonable amount of time off only. Although, what is deemed to be reasonable is not clarified. Generally, one or two days should be sufficient for the employee to handle the emergency but ofcourse, this will be a case by case scenario.

The employee in question must tell the employee as soon as possible and state how long they expect to be absent.

If an employer feels an employee is taking more than a reasonable amount of time then they can request the employee to take it as annual leave. Or should the employer feel the time off is pre-planned in advance or time of for dependents is being used too frequently, the employer should hold a meeting with the employee and discuss the matter.


Authors: Roxanne Bradley

Published: 15 Nov 2017


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