8.6 Time off for dependants

All employees are entitled to take time off work to deal with an unexpected emergency involving a dependant. A dependant will often be a family member or perhaps an elderly neighbour who relies on the employee for support. The time off is unpaid (although the employer may agree to make payments).

The emergency must not have been foreseeable. It may for instance include the death of an elderly relative, or where a childminder is taken ill and cannot care for the employee’s child. However, it would not include an instance where a childminder was going on pre-booked holiday and the employee had simply failed to make alternative arrangements.