Guidance for managers

Many civil servants have caring responsibilities outside work, and managers should be sensitive to their commitments.

Last updated - 27th January 2009

What you can do

Be aware:

  • Discuss your employees' needs with them - for example, they might need to call home during the day.
  • Understand that work may be their only respite from caring.

It's important to appreciate that caring will often only end when the person being cared for dies or has to move into a care home. Remember that, if this happens, the carer may be grieving or feel guilty that they have had to move a loved one into full-time care.

Be supportive:

  • Encourage staff to be open with their problems, and offer support and understanding if they are.
  • Be flexible with leave and working patterns as per parental and caring legislation - and your department's guidelines.
  • Ensure staff are aware of their entitlement to special leave.

Your department or agency will offer specific guidance on any other internal support available for carers. Further guidance is provided by several organisations, including internal departmental staff caring networks.

Useful links

The Department of Health published the National Strategy for Carers in 1999.

The Employment Relations website at Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform shows the legal right to time off in an emergency involving someone who depends on you, and the legal right of carers to ask for flexible working.

Carers UK is a partnership website to provide national and local information to carers, those supporting them and other interested parties

The Women Returners Network is a national charity which helps women return to work after a career break.