Is it reasonable to grant dependants leave to your Employees and what is it

Is it reasonable to grant dependants leave to your Employees and what is it?

In our article today, we take a look at dependants leave, what it is, whether is it payable, and how to manage it in your workplace, it sounds easy enough but can get tricky to manage, why not take a read today.

As an Employer, you are legally obliged to permit an Employee time off to deal with an ‘emergency’ involving a dependant.

A dependant could be:

  • Spouse
  • Partner
  • Child
  • Grandchild
  • Parent
  • someone who depends on them for care


How much time, is deemed reasonable?

There is no set amount of time, it should be permitted as a ‘reasonable’ amount of time off to deal with the emergency, we always advise that a common-sense approach and dependent on each circumstance to deal with the situation.


Is there a limit to the amount of leave that can be taken?

There is no set amount of leave, once again it should be permitted as a ‘reasonable’ amount of leave off to deal with the emergency, we always advise that a common-sense approach and dependent on each circumstance to deal with the situation.


As an Employer am I legally obliged to pay my Employee for the time off?

It is dependent on your contractual arrangements, legally you are not obliged to make payment, let’s take a look at your options:

Here are a couple of practical examples:

  • you could require your Employee to take leave from holiday entitlement – statutory holiday entitlement for an Employee working 5 days (or full time) is 20 days + the usual bank/ public holidays of 8, meaning their full entitlement for the year would be 28 days or 5.6 weeks. (As an Employer you can provide contractual holiday entitlement, you should always refer to an Employees Contract of Employment for details of this. If your Employee works part-time the entitlement would be prorated based on their hours of work and or days)
  • you could require they take unpaid leave – your Employees are legally entitled to take a reasonable amount of time off to deal with certain prescribed emergencies involving certain dependants


As an Employer should I have a policy in place?

We do strongly urge you to have a policy in place to inform and communicate how you manage dependants leave in your workplace, you can integrate this into your Employee Handbook or have a standalone policy, the choice is yours, you may include any contractual arrangements you have in place, this may be for example what you deem reasonable, payment and how you will manage the process.

We can help you with policy writing just let us know.


What if you cannot agree to any of the leave due to business needs?

As an Employer we would suggest that you consider all options, it would be wise to seek the support of HR, should you not have in-house HR, or you have HR and need support and chat through your options we would advise you to contact us, and we can then advise you in more detail on how to manage the situation.

We are available 365/24/7 on 0333 0069489 or [email protected]

We can assist with this, how to manage dependants’ leave, and policy writing in your workplace, and are looking forward to speaking with you very soon.




This article contains a general overview of information only. It does not constitute, and should not be relied upon, as legal advice. You should consult a suitably qualified lawyer on any specific legal problem or matter.

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