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Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Leaving work to care for someone

You may feel that you cannot combine employment and caring. Before you give up work, think about the options you have. If you do decide to give up work, there may be alternatives to resigning from your job.

If you want to care full-time

Full-time caring can be very rewarding and many carers would not consider having anyone else look after the person they care for.

However, most full-time carers find they have less money and their social contact is restricted. Some lose their occupational pension and can find their skills deteriorating.

If you decide to take on a full-time caring role, you can get help and support if you decide to go back to work .

Financial support for full-time carers

If you are planning to give up work, you are probably thinking about finances. Financial support for carers is available .

Alternatives to resigning from your job

You may not have to resign to become a full-time carer. Your employer may be able to offer you:

  • a career break - this is an unpaid break from working which can last from six months to three years
  • voluntary redundancy - if redundancies are being made, your employer may welcome a voluntary redundancy
  • early retirement

Talk to your employer or someone in your human resources department to see if any of these options are available to you.

If you do not want to give up work

You can talk to family and friends to see if anyone else can take on the caring role, or share looking after the person.

If the person you care for is assessed as needing care, your local council has a duty to provide it. The type and regularity of care will be determined by your local council. You may find that some of the care is provided and you will have to pay for the rest.

Combining caring and work

If you want to combine your caring role with staying in work, there are several options to consider. For example, could you work part-time, from home or job-share?

Employers want to keep valuable staff so talk to your employer about ways they can help you stay in work.

Although reduced hours would have an impact on your salary or wages, you might think about combining work and caring as a solution.

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