Hospital appointments

Hello, I’m a carer and have been for 15 years, I also work full time.

I’m looking for a bit of advice.

My mum has an eye operation in a couple of weeks and we have been waiting years for. I need to spend a couple of days off to take her to the hospital and look after her.

My place of work doesn’t have anything for carers unless it’s a child. I have already moved the appointment once due to cover.

There will not be anyone to cover for me as I work alone, in my role.

My employer knew what position I am in before he employed me. I know it’s not an emergency but do I have any rights?

I feel my only option is to have sick days to look after her which I don’t want to do, for financial reasons and that I have requested 3 days.


Hi Jason.

For chapter and verse on this recurring issue , our very own CUK :

Sorry Chris I can’t seem to find anything that helps me in the advice given.

Not unsurprising as it’s CUK ?

Try the Government’s own site on flexible working for carers :

Flexible working: Overview - GOV.UK

On a more PRACTICAL level , has your local hospital an unofficial team devoted to helping carers out in the precise circumstances
you describe ?

One of my fellow , local , Astronomy society members does that … relieve a carer by looking after the caree from door to door
with attending hospital appointments … and follow up sessions ?

Can check with the local PALS team at the hospital.

If not , cam always check out the Carers Trust’s Emergency Cover scheme … not known if this comes with a price tag :

Help & Info - Support for Unpaid Carers | Carers Trust

The hospital and Social Services between them should be able to arrange “Reablement Care” for her so you don’t need to take time off.

Also look at “Coleman Case Constructive Dismissal” for details of your rights as a carer.

10 years or more ago, there was some legislation passed, I think, which meant that carers were entitled to some time off to do things like taking their caree to appointments - I showed it to my line manager to convince her when I needed to do something like that. I’m self-employed now, so am not sure what the current situation is.


You have the rights to request time off for dependents but unfortunately your employer is not legally bound to agree to it. You have the right to “reasonable” time off in emergencies but there is no legal definition of what is reasonable. Unless your employer agrees to the contrary, the time off is normally unpaid.

However, the mention of Acas does normally keep employers concerned enough to consider your case. It might be worth asking the Acas Helpline for advice.

Hope this helps. Good luck,