This document is only applicable to employees of Blue Ring Digital Services Limited.
"Dependants Leave Policy" refers to this Dependants Leave Policy.
"You", "Your", "Employee" refers to You the Employee of Blue Ring Digital Services Limited.
"We", "Us", "Our", "Blue Ring Digital Services Limited" refers to Blue Ring Digital Services Limited.
We will try to keep everything in this document as straightforward as possible, but if there’s anything You don’t understand, please get in touch with Us.
The headings in this Dependants Leave Policy are for convenience only and shall not affect their interpretation.
The masculine shall include the feminine and the neuter and the singular the plural and vice versa.
If any provision or part of any provision of this Dependants Leave Policy is found by a court or other competent authority to be void or unenforceable, such provision or part of a provision shall be deleted from these Dependants Leave Policy and the remaining provisions or parts of the provision shall continue to be in full force and effect.
The Employment Relations Act 1999 introduced the right for all employees to take a reasonable amount of unpaid time off work to deal with unexpected or sudden emergencies involving a dependant and to make any necessary longer term arrangements.
Blue Ring Digital Services Limited recognises that employees may have domestic and personal responsibilities outside work. As part of its commitment to achieving a fair and equitable balance between domestic and working life, Blue Ring Digital Services Limited has a range of policies supporting work life balance.
When to use this Policy
This policy should be used to guide Employees when an Employee has to deal with an unplanned, unexpected or sudden emergency regarding a dependant.
For longer, expected or planned periods of absence relating to a dependent, for example to accompany a child during a stay in hospital or spend more time with a child in early years, employees should refer to the Parental Leave Policy which provides more appropriate guidance for these types of circumstances.
A ‘dependant’ is the husband, wife, civil partner, partner, child or parent of the Employee. It also includes someone who lives in the same household as the Employee. For example, this could be an elderly aunt or grandparent who lives in the household. It does not include tenants or boarders living in the family home, or someone who lives in the household as an Employee.
In cases of illness or injury, or where care arrangements break down, a dependant may also be someone who reasonably relies on the Employee for assistance. This may be where the Employee is the primary carer or is the only person who can help in an emergency; for example, an aunt who lives nearby who the Employee looks after outside work falls ill unexpectedly, or an elderly neighbour living alone falls and breaks a leg, where the Employee is closest on hand at the time of the fall.
The amount of time off that the Employee is entitled to will vary according to the circumstances of the particular emergency. It may be for a small proportion of the working day or for the whole day. In most cases, the amount of time off will not exceed one or two days.
Employees have the opportunity to make the time up later or to use some of their annual leave. Line managers should use their discretion and common sense in these situations but if none of the options outlined are possible then the time off to deal with the emergency is unpaid.
Typical circumstances that may result in the Employee exercising this right within the terms of this policy may include situations where the Employee has to deal with:-
- Unexpected disruption or breakdown of care arrangements for a dependent, (for example, the nurse who cares for an elderly relative fails to turn up as arranged) ;
- A dependant who has fallen ill, is injured or assaulted (for example, the employee’s child is injured while at school or in after school care);
- A dependant who has gone into labour.
This list gives some typical examples but is obviously not exhaustive.
The time off to which the Employee is entitled is as much time as is necessary to allow the Employee to deal with the immediate emergency and to make any necessary longer term arrangements for the dependant’s care. If the Employee becomes part of that arrangement for longer term care then they should use some of their annual leave entitlement. For example, if an employee’s child falls ill then the Employee is entitled to take dependants leave to allow them time to take the sick child to stay with relatives. However, if the Employee decides instead to care for the child themselves then they should take annual leave in agreement with their line manager.
Other company policies provide provision for leave to care for dependants in non-emergency situations. For example, the Maternity and Paternity Policy, Parental Leave Policy and the Annual Leave Policy.
Line managers should exercise both common sense and sensitivity in responding to employees who find themselves in a position where they have to deal with an unexpected emergency situation that may be distressing for them and their dependant.
If the emergency occurs before the start of the working day then the Employee should follow the normal procedures for notification of absence and should inform their line manager as soon as possible, but at the latest by 1 hour after their normal start time on the first day of absence. However, by definition this policy applies to circumstances which are unforeseen and can happen at any time therefore the requirement is that employees notify their line manager as soon as is reasonably practicable of the reason for their absence and how long they expect to be away from work. This means that if the emergency occurs while the Employee is attending work then wherever possible the Employee should notify their line manager before leaving the workplace. If the specific circumstances of the emergency lead to the Employee leaving work before contacting their line manager, then they must do so at the earliest opportunity and tell them the reason for their absence.
During the period of absence, if circumstances should change, for example, if the Employee realises that they are not going to be able to return to work when they originally estimated then they should make contact with their line manager to update them on their situation.
Abuse of Right
An example of this may be where an Employee claims that there is an emergency situation with a dependant and takes emergency leave but this turns out to be completely untrue. Another example would be where the situation was, from the very outset, obviously not an emergency and could have been dealt with out of working hours without the Employee taking time away from work. Once again, common sense and sensitivity on the part of the line manager is required in dealing with such situations but any Employee found to be deliberately abusing the right to take emergency leave from work may be subject to disciplinary action.
Changes to Dependants Leave Policy
This Dependants Leave Policy replaces all previous versions. We reserve the right to change the Dependants Leave Policy at any time.