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Employment

As a carer it can be hard to juggle demands of caring with work responsibilities. You may feel pulled in two directions. This page provides details of some options which can help you.

Support for carers who are in work 

Every employee has the legal right to ask their employer for flexible working. There are several options which may be available, making it easier for you to balance your caring responsibilities with your job. You must have worked for the same employer for 26 weeks to be eligible.

Flexible working options can include:  

  • Flexi-time - allows working hours to be arranged to meet the needs of the business, and to enable you to adjust your working hours. 
  • Part-time working - working less hours in order to provide care (or for other reasons). 
  • Job-share - more than one employee sharing a full-time workload on a part-time basis. 
  • Home working - enabling you to work from home using email, internet, fax or telephone. 
  • Parental leave - parents may be able to take unpaid leave to look after their children - find out more on Gov.uk's parental leave page.
  • Compressed working hours - working normal hours over fewer days.
  • Term-time working - taking paid or unpaid leave during school holidays. 
  • Compassionate leave - a reasonable amount of unpaid time off, to deal with unforeseen matters and emergencies involving a dependant, including leave to arrange or attend a funeral.

Employers may not offer all of these solutions - check with your employer. 

For more information on statutory employment rights, you can call the Carers UK advice line on 0808 808 7777 or visit Gov.uk.

Support for carers not in work

You may be able to get help moving into work from Jobcentre Plus' Work Preparation Support for Carers programme. This includes access to training and advice on job hunting and applications. Carers can also get extra support such as help with cost of care while attend interviews or training. Contact your local Jobcentre Plus to find out more.  

If you are aged 16-19 years and are not in education, employment or training, you can get help from Start Today which lists vacancies at www.help4teens.co.uk/start.

Visit Durham County Council's Adult Learning and Skills Service page to find out about their range of courses and apprenticeships.

Durham County Council's Welfare Rights service offer advice on starting work and the benefits and credits that can help you back into work.

You can also contact Durham County Carers Support (for adult carers, young adult carers and parent carers), or Family Action - The Bridge Young Carer's Service for information and advice.