What are their rights to time off to deal with it?
First of all, let us be clear on what constitutes a “dependant.”A dependant could be a spouse, partner, child, grandchild, parent, or someone who depends on you for care.
Employees are allowed a reasonable amount of time off to deal with the emergency, but there’s no set amount of time as it depends on the situation.
If, for instance, their child falls ill they could take time off to go to the doctor and make care arrangements. You, as the employer, are entitled to then ask the employee to take annual leave or
parental leave if they want to look after their child for longer.
There are no limits on how many occasions staff can take time off for dependants, however you will obviously wish to discuss the situation it the person’s work is being adversely affected.
The situation is different, however, if the person knew about the problem beforehand, for example a doctor’s or hospital appointment. Staff cannot claim this to be an emergency. The staff member should then take time from their leave, or Parental leave.
In terms of payment for such time, you are not obligated to pay staff.
The Graham Agency – keeping you informed