We recognise that carers' needs can be very different from those of staff with childcare responsibilities and that each caring situation can be unique.
The School has a Policy on the Support for Carers which sets out the School's position on supporting carers and the different types of support that are available.
Improving the support available for staff with caring responsibilities is a priority area for the School. Beyond the policy, the School has a membership with Employers for Carers - an employers' membership forum with over 200 membership organisations across the public, private and voluntary sectors. Through its membership, the School is developing additional guidance and other resources for staff and managers.
Below are some common queries about caring which you may find useful; please contact your HR Adviser if you have a query which is not addressed here.
Under the Policy on the Support for Carers, a carer is considered to be someone who provides unpaid support to family or friends who may be older, disabled or seriously ill. This may or may not be someone who lives in the same household.
The sorts of support offered by a carer will vary depending on the circumstances, but could include:
- Emotional support via regular telephone calls, emails or visits
- Help with personal care
- Help with financial matters or paperwork
- Help with household tasks
- Help with mobility
- Help with managing medication
If you have caring commitments outside work, there are a number of different ways in which you can better balance these with your role at LSE.
- First and foremost, you can make a formal request to work flexibly under the School's Flexible Working Policy. This is especially relevant if you have caring arrangements that are relatively predictable (in terms of when you might need to be away from work) and fairly long-term. The Flexible Working Toolkit includes plenty of information about different types of flexible working arrangement which may help you decide what option would work best for you.
- If you find that you need to take unplanned time away from your role to address a caring situation, you can request time off under the Time Off for Emergencies Involving a Dependant provision. Please see the Staff Support Leave Policy to find out more.
- In the event of the serious sickness of a close family member, Compassionate Leave is available which initially allows for two paid days' leave (which can be extended up to 15 working days). Please see the Staff Support Leave Policy for more details.
In addition to these options, your line manager has a role to play in being open to discussions about your preferred caring arrangements and flexible ways to support your work-life balance. If you have any queries about your options as a carer, your HR Adviser can help.
First and foremost, as a manager you can help to support staff with caring responsibilities by being open to discussions about how they can better manage their work-life balance.
Keep in mind that the stages of caring can be very different, depending on the circumstances. Someone may acquire caring responsibilities suddenly, they may need to provide intermittent care (which can make it harder for them to plan when they might need time away from work), or they may need to increase the care they're carrying out on an incremental basis.