We use cookies to allow us and selected partners to improve your experience and our advertising. By continuing to browse you consent to our use of cookies as per our policy which also explains how to change your preferences.

Close
Menu
Home care
Find out about care at home, adaptations and technology to help you to stay independent in your own home for longer.
Financing care
Learn about funding options for home care, home adaptations and care homes, together with Attendance Allowance, gifting assets and Power of Attorney.
Housing options
Consider your options and learn about sheltered housing, retirement villages and care homes.
End of life
Guidance to help you through the emotional and practical steps of losing a loved one, from coping with bereavement to arranging a funeral.

Taking a longer break from work

Find out what to do if you need a longer period of time off work, perhaps to provide end-of-life care or to cope with a bereavement.
In this article
Taking compassionate leave from work  Considering a career break Benefits while on leave

Taking compassionate leave from work 

 

Unlike time off for emergencies, there is no right in the law for a carer to take a longer break from work to deal with ongoing situations. So, if the person you care for needs continuous support for a while, and you feel that you need a temporary break from work, you’ll need to talk to your employer and see if you can come to an amicable arrangement.

 

Many employers offer discretionary leave in special circumstances. This is often known as ‘compassionate leave’ or ‘special leave’ and can be either paid or unpaid. Your right to compassionate leave might be detailed in your contract or it can be something that your employer deals with on a case-by-case basis.

 

Considering a career break

 

If you’re struggling to manage work and caring, speak to your employer about your options. They might be willing to give you a temporary sabbatical from work. This is usually unpaid, although some employers might continue to give you full or part wage.

 

Taking a sabbatical or career break allows you to focus 100% on your caring duties, safe in the knowledge that you can go back to your job later. It can help you to recharge your batteries, plan for the future and work out the practicalities of juggling work and caring responsibilities.

 

Benefits while on leave

 

If you take unpaid leave from work, you might be entitled to claim Carer’s Allowance or other benefits for carers. If you go back to work after your break, be sure to notify the different benefits departments of your change of circumstances. This must be done before you return to work to prevent any overpayment of benefits.

 

After a sabbatical, you might decide to give up work and become a full-time carer, or you could choose to go back to work and make alternative arrangements for your partner, relative or friend’s care. Our care services directory can help you find care homes or home care agencies.

Care homes and support at home near you
Use our directory to find local care homes, home care agencies and carer support services across the UK.

Further reading

Flexible working

If you work and also care for someone, flexible working can help balance your responsibilities. We explain your ...

Respite care

Respite care offers carers a break from caring, by providing replacement support. We explain the options and how to ...

Planning respite care

We explain the importance of planning ahead, how to access local authority respite care and things to consider when ...

Last updated: 18 Sep 2018