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Policy for Staff with Carers Responsibilities

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Policy for Staff with Carers Responsibilities

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									                                      Manchester Mental Health
                                          and Social Care Trust




                      Human Resources

Policy for Staff with Carers
     Responsibilities


 Subject:                           Policy for Staff with Carers
                                    Responsibilities

 Date of Implementation:            July 2007

 Date of Review:                    May 2011

 Person Responsible for Procedure   Director of Workforce & Organisational
 Implementation and Review:         Development




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1.     INTRODUCTION

This Policy describes the commitment to and the support available for employees who have a
caring commitment away from the workplace. The opportunity for Parental Flexibility is in place
within the Trust’s policies (also see Flexible Options Policy.

In April 2007 new legislation introduced rights for those caring for an adult spouse, partner, civil
partner, relative or an adult, normally living at the same address. This includes the right to request
working arrangements which enable the carer to balance work and home life and receive serious
consideration in response.

2.     PURPOSES AND SCOPE

2.1    The organisation is committed to supporting staff in achieving the right balance between
       their commitments at work and home.

2.2    No member of staff shall be disadvantaged either professionally or personally whilst
       undertaking their caring commitment. They should be confident of an understanding
       response with concerns being discussed within a confidential framework.


3.     CARING COMMITMENTS

Many staff will have a caring commitment at some point in their working life. These caring
commitments may be long term for example caring for a disabled relative or child or shorter term,
for example, associated with child raising. They may arise on an ad hoc basis, for example the
need to arrange nursing home care, or care for a terminally ill relative. There is a range of policies
and initiatives in the organisation, which will support Carers in meeting the demands of home and
work.


4.     MANAGERS’ RESPONSIBILITIES

4.1    Managers are encouraged to respond positively to approaches by carers for support from
       the employer. It is accepted that the demands of the service may, on occasion, make it
       difficult for the manager to meet the requests of carers. In such circumstances, it would be
       reasonable for the member of staff to expect a written explanation of the reasons why the
       request cannot be granted.

4.2.1 Managers should use the range of Flexible Working Options and Special Leave Policies
      available in the organisation to support staff members who have caring requirements. (See
      separate policies).

4.3    Having identified a member of staff with a caring commitment, managers should access the
       support services available to them and the staff member, and to promote these services to
       the staff member. The services include Occupational Health, Counselling, and Child/Adult
       Care Co-ordinator.

4.4    Managers should meet with staff after each period of Carers leave to offer support, discuss
       flexibility and up-date staff on any meetings, communications they may have missed.




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5.    STAFF MEMBERS’ RESPONSIBILITY

The member of staff is expected to be open and honest with their manager and explain fully the
reasons for any request for flexibility or time off. The staff member is asked to remember that,
whilst the organisation would always seek to support them, the needs of the service may on
occasion mean a manager is unable to grant a request in full or in part. The staff member should
receive a written explanation about why their request cannot be granted.


6.    SUPPORTING POLICIES

6.1   Flexible Working

      The Trust has a Flexible Working Options Policy and an ethos of supporting requests for
      flexibility wherever service delivery allows. For further information please contact your
      locality Human Resources Manager.

6.2   Special Leave

      Managers can award up to six days paid leave in any annual leave year for a caring
      emergency and up to three working days annual leave for household emergencies. These
      are to address unforeseen circumstances. All categories of special leave apply to carers.

6.3   Time off for appointments with dependents

      All the options under the Flexible Working Options Policy can be used in this situation.

6.4   Career Break

      A career break may be an appropriate option for staff who require a significant block of time
      off – 3 months to five years – to care for a relative or raise children. Please refer to the
      Career Break Policy.

6.5   Temporary Change to Contract

      Where the staff member indicates that their current working pattern is unsustainable in the
      short term due to a caring commitment, it is within the Manager’s discretion to grant a
      temporary change to contracted hours of working.

6.6   Unpaid Leave

      Managers may grant authorised unpaid leave of up to 3 months in the first instance. This
      may be appropriate in situations where individuals are wishing to spend time with a
      terminally ill relative or when facing a similar time-limited pressure.

6.7   Additional Planned Unpaid Leave

      Agreement for additional planned unpaid leave is an option for staff who, with some
      additional annual leave, would be better able to meet the demands of their caring
      commitment. It is agreed annually in the new year for the forthcoming Annual Leave year.
      If the total leave is not taken or not needed or the employee leaves, it is not repaid. The
      Application form is available from the HR Department.


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6.8    Time off to attend Support Groups

       All the options under the Flexible Working Options Policy can be used in this situation.

7.     THE ROLE OF THE CHILD / ADULT CARE CO-ORDINATOR

The Trust has a Child/ Adult Care Co-ordinator. The Co-ordinator will be able to provide a range
of advice and information for staff on Childcare issues including play-schemes, nursery
availability, childminders, subsidies, tax credits etc. The Co-ordinator will also be able to signpost
other agencies which can support staff with other caring commitments. You contact Yvonne
Atherton (Childcare and Adult Care Co-ordinator) on 0161 291 5176.

8.     OTHER SUPPORT

There are additional services; some provided by the Trust which may be able to offer support to
staff with caring commitments e.g. Dementia Support, Moving & Handling training, Staff
Counselling service. Where a manager identifies that a member of staff may benefit from
attending in-house training offered by the Trust associated with their specific caring need, they
should consider suggesting the appropriate course to the individual.

9.     ROLE OF HUMAN RESOURCES DEPARTMENT

The Human Resources Department will support and advise managers on the policies and
alternatives available to them in dealing with staff with caring commitments, and will provide
appropriate training.

10.    ROLE OF OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH

The Occupational Health Department will seek to support staff with caring commitments, providing
positive advice on a healthy balance between work and home demands, referral to other
agencies/services where appropriate and to advise managers where appropriate.




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