Employers not being flexible

I am new to Carers stuff…I look after mum and her sister, mum has start of memory loss and lymphedema, Aunty has Neurological issues and is in a wheelchair.
I spent hours sorting out my work schedule, to get it below the earnings limit, and had my claim disallowed as employer made me do too many hours, been advised to re claim when I have 2 wage slips showing £533 or less… was on track for January, then boss made me work a whole 9 hours extra last week and this week, as someone is off at work… there are 8 of us, no one else is doing extra, yet I know 2 of them would welcome extra shift.
Boss is being like this just because she can…
My question is, is there any rules re employee having a right to reduce hours to meet careers obligations?
Or is she forcing me to resign, and then my son says that would be considered constructive dismissal and I could go to a tribunal about it…
Over last 9 years there, I have always done above and beyond just to improve the workplace and help the Boss, now when I need a little Lea way. This is how she behaves… I am 60 and both mum and Aunty get higher AA , to cope with extra working hours, I am running myself into the ground. Something has to give , and I am afraid it may be my sanity …Any advice. Please


My question is, is there any rules re employee having a right to reduce hours to meet careers obligations? >

In short … possibly !

Employers are " Encouraged " to accommodate the needs of family / kinship carers.

Human Rights Commission on this very issue … one of the best there is out there :



Employee rights with carer status, family responsibilities and parental status

Working parents and carers are protected from discrimination when trying to balance their work arrangements with family and caring responsibilities.

Sometimes people experience difficulties in managing their work and family responsibilities effectively. While they know how important it is to get the job done, they also know they need to look out for the people they care for. This is a challenge that many Victorian employees face daily.

Elsewhere on this site , CUK goes to great lengths on this issue … and also encouraging carers to juggle work with caring.

In the REAL world , things are a lot different … as far too many working carers know.

Short of bouncing said problem off your local Union rep , little you can do.

Discrimination in the workplace against a family / kinship carer ?

Possibly … that’s where one’s Union comes in.

That weekly earning limit of £ 123 … must be playing havoc with any claim for other benefits … like Carers Allowance ?

If under Universal Credit , even more of a headache ?

6 April 2020 … minimum wage level rises … NO news yet as to any change in that £ 123 limit … another looming headache ???

Need any help there ?

Are you claiming any expenses or pension contributions to get you below the limit?

It’s time you changed your role as far as mum and aunty are concerned, so that you supervise their care, not provide their care. Time for them both to have a Needs Assessment from Social Services, and you, a Carers Assessment.

I have not even thought as far as the Min wage going up by 6%:scream: that’s another headache. Hoping by then the powers that be will increase the £123 to account for it… but not counting my chickens yet…
will talk again with Boss… see if we can find middle ground… what is so troubling me is all the extra things I have done over last 9 years to help her build her new business, and this is how she relays me.
I pay my friend daughter to sort breakfast and lunch out every Thursday, I give her £20 , she is a student so looks forward to a bit of extra., will that help… no pension contribution as I am nearly 61

Christine … are you claiming Carers Allowance ?

If so , what measures do you take to keep within that £ 123 per week limit ?

( I have in mind the recent DWP purge … does NOT make good reading : https://www.carersuk.org/forum/support-and-advice/carer-disability-benefits/dwp-on-the-warpath-carers-in-the-frame-sweep-nets-80-000-caught-up-please-report-on-this-thread-34576?hilit=dwp%20purge )

Deductible expenses ?

Fine …what would be your position if the Carers Unit within the DWP asked for documentary evidence ?

( Playing Devil’s Advocate ? )

Hi… yes I did a claim for Carers Allowance, agreed hours with boss to get it to under 15 hours NMW a week, which would have got me under the £123 , then it all fell apart when boss had me do extra 9 hour shift week after Xmas , and again last week. When Carers Allowance person phoned me to speak about wages,I had to say about this. I could not lie, it would show on wage slip… and she said I needed to do a new claim when I had final wage slips showing it under £533 for a month . I feel so deflated. I don’t want to give up work., I love my job… But unless I can get through to my Boss about how crucial it is to keep under the limit, which she doesn’t seem to grab, I don’t know what else to do. Mum and Aunty will not have outsiders care for them… that’s a no no point .
Mum is 83 Aunty is 71

Only remedy would be marshaling.

As BB mentioned , pension contributions … at least you would not have to wait decades for the rewards ?

From elsewhere on this site :


You don’t earn over £123 a week (after deductions)

If you are in paid work (including self-employment) you cannot get Carer’s Allowance if you earn more than £123 a week (after deductions).

Note: This means that if you are working 16 hours at minimum wage and are eligible for the national living wage, you will be over the earnings limit. You will need to see if you can apply any of the deductions outlined below which would mean your earnings for Carer’s Allowance purposes would be treated as being £123 a week or less.

If you are in employment and are paid a regular amount monthly, your monthly earnings are normally multiplied by 12 months to get a yearly figure and then divided by 52 weeks to get a weekly figure. However there are exceptions to this, such as if your earnings are variable. If you are in doubt about your own situation, please email us: > adviceline@carersuk.org> .

If you are in employment and have fluctuating earnings, it is possible for your earnings to be averaged out over a recognisable cycle of work or over five weeks.

If you are in self-employment your average weekly earnings are normally calculated by looking at a specific trading period, which is normally a year. However if you have only recently started your self-employment, or if there has been a change in your circumstances, then a different period more representative of your average weekly earnings can sometimes be used.

The following amounts are deducted from your gross weekly earnings (if you are in employment) or your net profit (if you are in self-employment) before your earnings are taken into account for Carer’s Allowance:

Income Tax
National Insurance
half of your contributions towards an occupational/personal pension


If you earn £125 a week (after tax and national insurance) you will not be entitled to Carer’s Allowance. However, if you put £10 a week into a pension, half of the £10 can be deducted from your earnings. Your earnings for Carer’s Allowance would therefore be £125 - £5 = £120 a week. As this is not over the earnings limit, you could claim Carer’s Allowance.

You can also deduct expenses that are incurred ‘wholly and exclusively for the purposes of the business’, in the same way that you can for income tax purposes.

If, because of your work, you have to pay for someone to look after the person you care for, or a child under 16 who you or your partner get Child Benefit for, you can deduct those payments from your earnings up to the value of half your earnings (after the above deductions if they apply). However, this will not apply if the person you are paying is a close relative of either yourself or the person you are looking after (a close relative is a spouse, partner or civil partner, parent, son, daughter, brother or sister).

Occupational or personal pensions do not count as earnings and you can be paid Carer’s Allowance in addition to these. However, if you get extra Carer’s Allowance for your partner their occupational/personal pension could affect this extra amount (some carers previously received extra benefit for their partner as part of their Carer’s Allowance - this was called the adult dependant addition but is not available for new claims).

If you do receive taxable income such as occupational or personal pensions or part-time earnings you should inform the tax office about your Carer’s Allowance, because it is a taxable benefit.

One exception to the earnings rule is that if you are working during an allowed break in care, and are still receiving Carer’s Allowance, your earnings are ignored (you can see more information on breaks in care here).

I won’t mention that dreaded word … TAPERS … especially if you are claiming any other income related benefits … housing benefit / council tax being the top two.
( For every £ 1 more earned , lose upto 63% of it ? )

And yes , CUK actively encourage all to try to juggle working with caring … without mentioning any of the pitfalls !!!

I’m not sure if you’ve reduced your work hours in order to claim CA or to allow you more time for caring. If it’s the first, why not just take all the extra hours you can as long as it will regularly bring in more than the fairly meagre CA?

Possibly of that taper element coming into play , Ayjay ?

Spelt out in all it’s gory details only a couple of days ago :


Another " Warning " from the Grimsby Telegraph :

**How much can you earn before losing Universal Credit ?

The amount you get depends on the amount you earn.

If you earn money - for every £1 you earn your Universal Credit will be reduced by 63p - until you’re entitled to no payment at all.**


If your wages later drop and you think you can get UC again, you’ll need to start a new claim online by signing in to your Universal Credit account.

But if, before you stopped getting Universal Credit, you earned more than £2,500 over the amount allowed - this is called surplus earnings.

When you start your claim again this amount will be taken into account and used to reduce the amount of credit you get until the surplus is gone.

Yep … juggling work with caring …one has to be in the Guinness book of records to juggle all that’s thrown at them to do so ???

Well… after a fraught weekend, mum in hospital with UTI, Aunty in Walton with neurological issues, both now home.
.I spoke again with Boss… and she promised me(let’s see how that pans out) my Feb wages will be under limit… and I never realised I could start a pension at my age… work does have one…and on Thursdays I have my good friends daughter pop in to see mum 2 times, I give her £30. She says She will sign a statement if they ask, saying what I give her. So I could claim half that back, so that would be half pension contribution and half what I pay for Thursday. I found all this out from reading stuff on this site… wonderful… just need to bide time till end of Feb… and I think I may not loose my £34 tax credits I have now… after speaking to them, they said call back after I claimed Carers Allowance


I give her £30. She says She will sign a statement if they ask, saying what I give her.

DWP will be both judge and jury when it comes to evidence supporting deductible expenses.

A gentle inquiry of the Carers Unit first may be to your advantage.


General enquiries

Telephone: 0800 731 0297
Textphone: 0800 731 0317

NGT text relay (if you cannot hear or speak on the phone): 18001 then 0800 731 0297
Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm

Carers Allowance Unit
Mail Handling Site A
WV98 2AB

Especially if the recipient is claiming any benefits … income related ones , perhaps ?


and I think I may not loose my £34 tax credits I have now

A scenario for one of those trusty old online benefits calculators :


I assume that UC has NOT been rolled out on your manor ?

Claiming CA … effect on any other benefits ?

Curtain call for that online benefits calculator ?