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Dear Sir Madam, My wife has just ahd her appendix removed…

Dear Sir Madam, My wife has...
Dear Sir Madam,

My wife has just ahd her appendix removed and adhesions from her fallopian tubes. She was given a sick note on wednesday for two weeks and then to be reassed by the Dr. The sick note stated that she had to have complete rest and assistance with our family.

We have 3 children, 17, 15 & 8. The 17 year old is in exams at college where he leaves early in the morning and does not come home until late. My 15 year old has been off school for a couple of months whilst under a consultant for head related problems and he requires possible lumber puntures in the coming weeks.

I have an 8 year old daughter who requires caring for and that falls to me. I have contacted my employer who at first said to take the time off unpaid, now they have said that I cannot do this. Can you please advise me on whether I am able to take unpaid leave, parental leave as an emergency or what I can do.

Thanks. I work in London but my family are in Cornwall.
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Answered in 6 minutes by:
1/4/2013
Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: UK Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 71,130
Experience: Over 5 years in practice.
Verified
Hi

Thank you for your question and welcome to Just Answer. I will try to help with this.

How long have you worked there?
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Customer reply replied 5 years ago


Hello,


 


For just over a year now. My wife was unwell throughout the year and they had given me compassionate days, some I repaid by working others they did not ask for. I know that I am not entitled to any compassionate days and do not expect that but they are saying they have been more than generous enough and that I am not allowed even unpaid days.


 

Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: UK Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 50,149
Experience: Qualified Employment Solicitor
Verified
Hello, my colleague has asked me to assist with your query as it is more my area of law. Is there an unpaid leave policy in your workplace?
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Customer reply replied 5 years ago


I have looked at the contract and it just states that we work a minimum 12 hour shift 7 days a week followed by 7 days off. During this time we have to take our annual holidays of 4.8 weeks a year and that there is no entitlement for payments for any additional days off in lieu.


 

You would usually only be allowed to take unpaid time off work if the employer allows it or if there is a specific policy that deals with that. However, there are times when you may have to take time off in emergencies and there is a principle known as 'time off for dependants' which you could rely on.

To qualify, you need to be taking the time off due to an emergency or unexpected situation and be doing so to look after a dependant of yours. One of the situations described is taking time off to deal with the unexpected disruption, termination or breakdown of arrangements for the care of a dependant. So you can argue that your circumstances mean that there has been an unexpected breakdown in the normal care of your daughter and as such you are expected to take the time off.

You are only allowed to take reasonable time off and there is no limit stated in law, it all depends on the circumstances. For example, you would not be expected to continue to take time off if your wife or someone else is in a position to start looking after your daughter.

To take the time off you need to inform your employer ASAP of the reasons for your absence and tell them how long you expect to be away for.

Please take a second to leave a positive rating as that is a very important part of our process. Your question will not close and I can continue providing further advice if necessary. Thank you
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Customer reply replied 5 years ago


Thanks for the answer. I have been in regular contact with them and the response is pretty much tough you had compassionate in 2012 and now you have to work. I really needed to ascertain if I could legally take a few days off to do just what you had suggested.

The legal right is there, but it does not prevent the employer from challenging it and even taking action because of it. That is when you will have to defend yourself by arguing it was justified as per my earlier advice
Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: UK Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 50,149
Experience: Qualified Employment Solicitor
Verified
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DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.

The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).

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