Does the right to time off for dependants include time off to care for a sick child?
Under s.57A of the Employment Rights Act 1996, employees have the right to take a reasonable amount of unpaid time off work in certain circumstances related to dependants. This includes time off to take action that is necessary to provide assistance when a dependant falls ill and to make arrangements for the provision of care for a dependant who is ill. Therefore, the right would cover time off to deal with the immediate care of the child, for example visiting the doctor if necessary, as well as time to make longer-term care arrangements, but it is unlikely to cover time off to look after the child until he or she recovers. In Qua v John Ford Morrison Solicitors  IRLR 184 EAT the Employment Appeal Tribunal emphasised that the right to time off for dependants does not include the right to time off to provide care beyond a reasonable amount necessary to deal with the immediate crisis.