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Time off for dependants policy

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Our Time Off for Dependants Policy Template aids employees during family emergencies, ensuring compassionate support without work worries.

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5 mins
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What is a Time off for dependants policy?

A time off for dependants policy is a set of guidelines and procedures that an organisation establishes to allow its employees to take time off work to care for dependants who are experiencing an unexpected emergency or situation. Dependents may include children, elderly parents, or other family members who require care and support.

Under a time off for dependants policy, employees are typically allowed to take a reasonable amount of time off work to deal with emergency situations such as the illness, injury or death of a dependent, or a situation where their normal care arrangements have unexpectedly broken down. The length of time off and whether it is paid or unpaid may depend on the specific policy of the organisation, local regulations, and the individual circumstances.

The policy may specify how much notice an employee is required to give before taking the time off, and what documentation is required to support the need for the leave.

A time off for dependants policy can be beneficial for employees, as it allows them to balance work and family responsibilities during times of crisis or unexpected events. Additionally, it can be beneficial for employers, as it can help to maintain employee morale and productivity, and reduce the risk of employee burnout and turnover.

Best practice timescale for this to be issued
When should this policy be issued?
During onboarding / after changes / planned refresher
Issued by who, to whom
Who should issue this policy, and to whom?
Internally issued to appropriate recipients in your Company
Applicable legal jurisdictions
In which jurisdictions can this policy be used?
Great Britain & NI (United Kingdom), Worldwide

What legislation and best practice guidelines have been taken into account in the development of this template?

United Kingdom

A dependant could be a spouse, partner, child, grandchild, parent, or someone who depends on someone for care.

Here are some key UK employment legislations that support the implementation of a Time Off for Dependants Policy:

  1. Employment Rights Act 1996: Provides the right for eligible employees to take time off to handle unexpected situations involving dependants.

  2. Working Time Regulations 1998: Ensures that employees have adequate rest and breaks, supporting their ability to handle dependant-related emergencies.

  3. Equality Act 2010: Prohibits discrimination against employees when requesting time off for dependants, ensuring fair treatment.

  4. Parental Leave Regulations 2013: Offers eligible employees the right to take unpaid parental leave, which may be used in certain dependant situations.

  5. Time off for Study or Training: Allows employees to request time off for dependant-related study or training purposes.

  6. Family-friendly Policies: While not a specific legislation, promoting family-friendly policies aligns with the spirit of supporting time off for dependants.

Other territories

Consult your jurisdiction's employment legislation or labor laws to ensure compliance with the template. Review the language for local precision.

Time off for dependants Policy


The purpose of this policy is to cover rules for any employee needing to take time off work in an emergency to care for a dependent.


This policy is applicable to all employees of [company name].

General principles

You are legally entitled to take a reasonable amount of time off to deal with certain prescribed emergencies involving certain dependants. This leave is called Time Off For Dependants.

Time Off For Dependants can be taken, for example, if a dependant falls ill or is injured, if care arrangements break down, or to arrange or attend a dependants funeral. A dependant is your child (including adopted child), husband, wife or parent. It also includes someone who lives in your household, and someone who reasonably relies on you, such as an elderly relative. Any time taken off must be necessary and reasonable in the particular circumstances.

Time Off For Dependants is not usually paid.

This policy [does not] form[s] part of your terms and conditions of employment.

Version: [1.0]

Issue date: [date]

Author: [name, job title]

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Time off for dependants policy
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