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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 49821
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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BenMy wife was recently diagnosed with cancer and requires

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Hi BenMy wife was recently diagnosed with cancer and requires multiple surgeries and ongoing treatment. I want to understand what right I have in terms of taking time of work to care for her?
Hello, my name is***** am a solicitor on this site and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today.
Hello, my name is***** am a solicitor on this site and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. First of all I am sorry to hear about your situation. The main law that would be relevant in the circumstances would be ‘time off for dependants’. This is where an employee has to take time off work to look after someone who is dependent on their care. However, only reasonable time off is allowed and this is really there to cover unexpected/emergency situations. An example is if your child has an accident in school and you need to take time off work to take them to hospital, or if an elderly person you look after has a fall and you need to go with them for treatment. However, this would not cover time off which you knew about in advance. So if your wife had scheduled treatments or you knew that she would be unwell for a period of time, it would not be covered by this legislation. If she unexpectedly felt unwell one day then you could rely on it to take time off work to deal with this and arrange treatment for her or look after her but you would not be able to take more than a day or two in order to deal with that.
If you are looking at long-term arrangements to care for her then the law would not help you that much unfortunately. You do have the right to ask your employer for flexible working, such as going part time or amending your hours to give you more time at home. The employer has a duty to consider your request but there is no guarantee that they would grant it. The other alternative is to take annual leave whenever you can but obviously that would eventually run out so again it is not a long-term solution.
Therefore, the flexible working arrangement may be the best option, subject to approval by the employer.
I trust this has answered your query. I would be grateful if you could please take a second to leave a positive rating (selecting 3, 4 or 5 starts at the top of the page). If for any reason you are unhappy with my response or if you need me to clarify anything before you go - please get back to me on here and I will assist further as best as I can. Thank you
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