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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 46792
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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I have an 18 year old son who is registered disabled,he is

Customer Question

I have an 18 year old son who is registered disabled,he is a recovering cancer patient and has several hospital specialists he has to see and has 2 monthly check ups also. at the moment he is under a liver specialist a hematologist a knee specialist due to damage from chemo, and a orthopedist he has approximately 1 appointment a month and it is some times during my work time. so far i have used up dinner hours or made the time up but my employers have bought in a new policy stating if i have time of for a dependant i will have to take it as a sick day and if i have 3 sick days in a 12 month period i will have a disciplinary, is this right,can they do this
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. Is the tie you are taking off pre-arranged or does it just come up on short notice, i.e. as an emergency?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
well the 2 monthly checks are pre arranged but some of the appointment come after his check up for instance he had a pre booked appointment for his blood check and had to be sent for a ultra sound scan the following week, but most of his appointment are about 3 weeks notice
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
im more concerned that he has mobility problems and sometimes cannot walk and if i have time off for this it will count as a sick day and if i have 3 or more of these i will get a disaplinary
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
The law does allow you to take reasonable time off to look after dependants but the issue is that this only covers short notice, unplanned issues, basically emergencies. If it is to attend a pre-arranged appointment this will not be covered by this legal right and you will have to take the time off in other ways. For example, it could be by taking holidays, have it authorised by the employer as unpaid time off, use time off in lieu or use any other policy in place. In your case the employer may have its own policy allowing time off to look for dependants. As long as it does not cover emergency time off which the law would allow you to take without penalties, they can be stricter with its application. So for example if you take too much time off like that they can penalise you. This is their policy so they can set the rules. You need to distinguish between what the law allows you to do and what the employer allows you to do as an extra benefit, which would be subject to their own rules. If you have carer responsibilities then you can make a formal flexible working request, which the employer has a duty to consider seriously and can only reject on specific grounds. This is your basic legal position. I have more detailed advice for you in terms of the rights you have in terms of making a flexible working request, which I wish to discuss so please take a second to leave a positive rating for the service so far (by selecting 3, 4 or 5 stars) and I can continue with that and answer any further questions you may have. Don’t worry, leaving a rating will not close the question and we can continue this discussion. Thank you
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 46792
Experience: Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
Ben Jones and other Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
i have already agreed to the hours i work. so if i phoned in to say my son cannot get out of bed this would be classed as an emergency so how can they make me use it as a sick day
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Not all time you take off will be subject to this policy - examples such as the one you mentioned should be treated as time off under your legal right and not be treated as sick day, however time taken off to cover matters known in advance will not qualify and can be subject to their policy
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Also as mentioned you can try and make an application for flexible working. The right to make a flexible working request applies to any employee who has been employed by the employer for at least 26 weeks. Examples of the changes that can be applied for in a flexible working request include:· A change to working hours· Change to working location· Job-sharing When a formal request is made, an employer can only reject it on a limited number of grounds. These are:· Planned structural changes· The burden of additional costs· A detrimental impact on quality· The inability to recruit additional staff· A detrimental impact on performance· The inability to reorganise work among existing staff· A detrimental effect on ability to meet customer demand· Lack of work during the periods the employee proposes to work In addition, the employer has a duty to explain their rejection in writing. They must state why the specific business ground applies in the circumstances and include the key facts about their decision. These should be accurate and relevant to the reason used.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
so i still dont know how i stand if i ring in for an emergency and its counted as a sick day if i have 3 or more then the company can give me a disciplinary.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
An employee who is refused permission to take time off in accordance with the right or who is subjected to a detriment for taking it (or seeking to take it) may complain to an employment tribunal. Furthermore an employee who is dismissed for the reason that they took or sought to take time off in accordance with their right will be able to claim unfair dismissal. So you have legal protection. In the first instance you should complain internally via a formal grievance. However, if you are penalised or dismissed as a result you can take the matter to the employment tribunal.

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