Time off for dependants
Time off for dependants

The following Employment practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Time off for dependants
  • The right
  • No right to pay
  • Who is a 'dependant'?
  • Persons who are not dependants
  • Who has the right?
  • Excluded persons
  • Notification requirements
  • Time off must be necessary to deal with the emergency
  • Illness
  • More...

In certain defined circumstances, employees have a right to be permitted to take time off during working hours:

  1. to care for, or arrange care for, 'dependants', or

  2. when a 'dependant' dies

The categories of persons who are an employee's dependants for these purposes are confined to those listed below.

There is no separate general right to bereavement leave but with effect from 26 February 2016, under what is now the Agricultural Wages (Wales) Order 2020, SI 2020/347, agricultural workers in Wales have their own specific statutory provisions entitling them to bereavement leave and pay following the death of a grandparent, parent, child, grandchild, sibling, spouse, civil partner or someone with whom they live as a spouse or civil partner.

The remainder of this Practice Note examines solely the statutory right to unpaid time off work to care for dependants or when a dependant dies, under section 57A of the ERA 1996.

The right

Under section 57A of the ERA 1996, all employees are entitled to be permitted by their employer to take a reasonable amount of time off during working hours in order to take action which is necessary:

  1. to provide assistance on an occasion when a dependant falls ill, gives birth or is injured or assaulted

  2. to make arrangements for the provision of care for a dependant who is ill or injured

  3. in consequence of the death of

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