Editor's message: With UK schools closing on 20 March 2020 due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, and elderly relatives being at particular risk of becoming ill, employers may find that they receive an increase in the number of requests for time off for dependants.
Employees have a statutory right to take a reasonable period of time off for dependants, that would apply where a parent is taken ill. However, the employer does not have to allow employees extended periods of this type of leave. And although employers do not have to pay employees for time off for dependants, it would be good practice to pay the employee during their time off for dependants in the current extraordinary circumstances.
Sheila Attwood, managing editor, pay and HR practice
HR and legal information and guidance relating to time off for dependants.