There is no set limit on how much time off can be taken but you can only take off the time necessary to sort out the immediate ‘problem’
All employees have the right to urgent leave in certain circumstances. This is called time off for dependants. This is a right to reasonable time off work to help a dependant in specific circumstances and is defined by the employment rights act.
A dependant is someone who depends on you for help to deal with unexpected difficulties or emergencies. This could be a husband, wife, partner, child, parent or close family member who resides in the same house or any person who reasonably relies on you for assistance in the event of physical or mental illness or accident.
One common example of when this type of leave might be used is when a child becomes ill and cannot attend school. Time off for dependants would be appropriate if you do not have other arrangements in place for childcare. It’s expected that this emergency time off will be for a reasonable amount of time, usually to allow you to put other arrangements in place if the situation lasts more than a couple of days. There is no set limit on how much time off can be taken but you can only take off the time necessary to sort out the immediate ‘problem’.
For information on Dependant’s leave and how to take this check here and here. It’s best to be specific when you let your employer know that you need time off – explain that you are requesting time off for dependants due to an urgent issue.
Your employer does not have to pay you if you take dependants’ leave. Your employer may also have additional measures in place to help in this kind of scenario so it’s worth discussing other options, like using leave, if taking time off unpaid is not something you’re happy to do.
Your job is protected during your absence on dependants’ leave.
If you have any problems with arranging time off for dependants or have a question abut this article, ask your local rep.