Time off for Dependants (Carers Leave)

9 Apr 2008 Alex Hastings    Last updated: 5 Jul 2014

This article outlines NICVA’s policy with regards to time off for dependants (also known as carers leave).

NICVA recognises that employees may need to take a reasonable amount of unpaid time off during working hours in order to take action when necessary:

  1. To provide assistance on an occasion when a dependant falls ill.
  2. To make arrangements for the provision of care for a dependant who is ill or injured.
  3. Because of unexpected disruption or termination of arrangements for the care of a dependant.
  4. To deal with an incident involving a child of the employee occurring unexpectedly while in an educational establishment which is responsible for the child.

NICVA imposes no limit on the amount of unpaid time off that an employee is permitted to take, provided it is reasonable in the circumstances of the case. Paid time off under these circumstances will be at the discretion of the Chief Executive but will not normally exceed five days in a twelve month period.

This right applies to unforeseen circumstances only. If an employee knows in advance that they are going to need time off, they should ask for annual leave in the usual way.

This right only applies if the employee informs the Human Resources Manager of the reason of their absence as soon as is reasonably practical, except where this condition cannot be complied with until after the employee has returned to work.

The term dependant refers to a spouse, child, parent or person who lives in the same household as the employee, except where the person lives in the house because they are an employee, tenant, lodger or boarder.

The meaning of dependant is broader than the employee's immediate family and might include the unmarried partner of the employee (who may be of the same sex) or an elderly relative who may be living with the family.

A dependant also refers to a person who reasonably relies on the employee for assistance on an occasion where the person falls ill or is injured or assaulted or to make arrangements for the provision of care in the event of illness or injury.

We share NICVA’s policies to assist organisations in drafting their own. However, our policies are relevant to NICVA and are not samples. They should not be replicated, but may be used for reference purposes, in conjunction with other guidance available. NICVA cannot accept any claims arising from error or misinterpretation.
alex.hastings@nicva.org's picture
by Alex Hastings

Human Resources Manager

[email protected]

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