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care leave (NHS)


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I work for the NHS and on Sunday my 1 year old daughter ended up in hospital after a visit to the out of hours GP.

 

This was 11pm Sunday night and was awake right through the night while they did tests on her as she was admitted with masdotitis which the doctors their told us it was serious that they needed to start her on IV antibiotics right away which could possibly turn into surgery and they warned us that she could lose her hearing in 1 ear maybe both and worst case she could die from it if they can't get onto of the infection. They said she would need to be in at least 48 hours min on IV antibiotics before they can consider anything else a CT was also req as well as bloods taken. We were awake all night 4am they canulated her shortly after the antibiotics given followed by 6am moved to a ward.

 

I called work at 10am as my shift started 11.30am to inform my ward manager of the problem

I asked for 2 days care leave and her response was where is your wife.

 

I said she's gone home to get a couple of hours sleep then coming back to let me go home and get some sleep. She moaned at me for a bit then said you can have it today but you'll have to take a paid holiday for Tuesday refusing to honour a 2nd day for care leave.

 

I called my union and they said i am entitled to 1 week over the year care leave subject to management discretion and that it might be that she's thinking of other times you might need care leave later in the year.

 

So it was left at that. I was thinking of taking the matter further and don't want to be barking down the wrong tree before i do.

 

Do i have the right to argue that I should be allowed 2 days care leave and not forced to use holidays?

 

Any advice appreciated thanks

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the leave is to organise cover and not to do the caring yourself, so stictly, your employer is correct.

 

Ths is not technically an emergency, although it is serious and upsetting - see here

 

https://www.gov.uk/time-off-for-dependants/your-rights

Never assume anyone on the internet is who they say they are. Only rely on advice from insured professionals you have paid for!

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This is a matter of policy and compassion over law. Legally, time off for dependants is there to cover ONLY the immediate emergency and for you to make alternative provision for care, however it would seem that the NHS actually has a policy written into your T&Cs which covers it. The problem there is the word 'discretion' - personally I hate it because in employment contracts there will inevitably be a concern over discrimination of one person over another, but since it is there it would seem that in this case they have the right to exercise that 'discretion' and allow one day but not the other. The compassion element sadly has been missed altogether and I can only imagine that the person exercising their discretion has not been in a similar situation themselves!

 

Also worth pointing out that emergency leave (or by whatever name an employer calls it) does not have to be paid, so maybe the ward manager in question may argue that whilst one eye was on operational efficiency the other was on the fact that you may not have wished to potentially lose two days pay so offered paid leave instead?

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This is a matter of policy and compassion over law. Legally, time off for dependants is there to cover ONLY the immediate emergency and for you to make alternative provision for care, however it would seem that the NHS actually has a policy written into your T&Cs which covers it. The problem there is the word 'discretion' - personally I hate it because in employment contracts there will inevitably be a concern over discrimination of one person over another, but since it is there it would seem that in this case they have the right to exercise that 'discretion' and allow one day but not the other. The compassion element sadly has been missed altogether and I can only imagine that the person exercising their discretion has not been in a similar situation themselves!

 

Also worth pointing out that emergency leave (or by whatever name an employer calls it) does not have to be paid, so maybe the ward manager in question may argue that whilst one eye was on operational efficiency the other was on the fact that you may not have wished to potentially lose two days pay so offered paid leave instead?

 

 

 

I looked at the trust policy and this is what it says......

 

1.1. Purpose

The aim of such leave is to provide a caring response to emergency need. The

time should be used to deal with the emergency and if necessary make longer term arrangements for any further days that may be needed. This leave is essentially short term and normally with pay.For most cases, one or two days should be sufficient to deal with the problem.For example, if a child falls ill with chickenpox, the leave should be enough to help the employee cope with the crisis – to deal with the immediate care of the child, visiting the doctor if necessary, and to make longer term care arrangements. The employee is not entitled to take one week’s emergency care leave to look after a sick child.This leave is for unforeseen situations. If employees know in advance that they are going to need time off, they should ask for leave in the usual way. This may involve taking annual leave or some other form of leave.

 

The types of situation that may require special leave include.

(a) illness of a dependant, as defined above;

(b) breakdown of normal carer arrangements;

© making arrangements for longer term coping with a care problem;

(d) to spend time with a child/close relative who is terminally ill; or

(e) other urgent need in respect of the care situation.

 

1.4.1 Up to the equivalent of one working week plus one working day (pro-

rata i.e. based on the working weekly hours of the individual employee)

emergency carer leave may be granted in any one annual leave year. Leave

granted will be with pay.

 

1.4.2 In certain circumstances, staff may wish to spend time with someone,

who is terminally ill, or who develops a sudden, life-threatening

illness/condition, perhaps as a result of an accident. In this situation, leave

with pay may be granted, provided the total period does

not exceed one working week plus one working day.

 

 

So having looked at this again I get at least 1 weeks pay and it says as an example for chicken pox 1-2 days should be enough and further days would at least need you to see a doctor.

 

Of course my situation falls further down the list where it was in fact unforseen circumstancies and I would have fallen into a catagory where I could have infact taken 1 weeks CL if needed under the situation I was in as my daughter while not critical enough to be on ICU we were informed it was critical to the point they said she might end up there if things don't work out over the next 48 hours which is why I asked my manager for 2 days CL to cover the 48hr period and would have informed her as stated to her if anything changed and I needed more time I would have let her know.

 

She was more bothered about where my wife was to look after our daughter as I could have been in work she said.

 

So I'm going to take it up with HR. while I appreciate the fact I had the 2nd day off as a holiday my manager as you stated showed no compassion at all and expected me to attend the 2nd day which for me was a 12 hour shift 7-7 leaving my wife to care for our daughter through the night and all through the day and expecting me to concentrate enough to look after patients while my daughter could have ended up in ICU possibly life changing surgery.

 

So as selfish as I may sound I still think I was entitled to more than 1 days CL and my manager was basically been an ass over it.

 

I appreciate all the advice given so far though thanks

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I checked with the Head Nurse for our department and it appears that the NHS changed their policy a year or 2 ago and only allow 1 days CL at a time regardless of the situation due to staff abusing it in the past. It's a shame they couldn't take things like hospital addmission into account

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