My child is sick and I need time to look after him/her, but my employer is refusing. Do I have any rights?

You have the right to take reasonable time off to deal with an emergency involving your child if he/she is ill and you need time to make arrangements for their care. The employer does not have to give you paid time off, but many employers do give paid leave in these circumstances, e.g. up to a certain number of days a year.

If your employer is refusing you time off for this purpose you can refer the matter to an employment tribunal, but there are strict time limits for making a claim.

There is a helpful free leaflet from the TUC, called Time off for families.

The charity Working Families also has useful resources and information.

Note: This content is provided as general background information and should not be taken as legal advice or financial advice for your particular situation. Make sure to get individual advice on your case from your union, a source on our free help page or an independent financial advisor before taking any action.

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