At work

If you are employed you will need to consider how you are going to keep employers informed of the situation and whether or not you feel able to work during this period.

Here are some possible options for you to think about:

  • Talk to your GP about a Statement of Fitness to Work (or 'fit note') to recommend reduced hours or flexible working, or to exempt you from work or to 
  • Talk directly to your employer about reduced hours or flexible working - many employers will be sympathetic and may be able to accommodate a change of your work arrangements
  • Talk to your employer about special leave or compassionate leave. However, you need to be aware that this leave may be unpaid
  • Talk to your employer about unpaid leave if you can afford to and wish to have time away from work. It is important to take advice about the implications of unpaid leave for your national insurance, pension and continuity of service.

If it helps, your CLIC Sargent Social Worker can contact your workplace on your behalf to discuss your options with your manager or HR department. You will need to give your permission to allow your personal circumstances to be discussed.

Most employers will try to support you during this difficult time but it is important that you keep in touch and talk to them as openly as you can about arrangements that will help you and your family. Problems arise because an employer isn't fully aware of the circumstances and how a parent could be supported.

Benefits advice

If you receive benefits, you can get advice from our welfare advisers about the best way for you to proceed.

If you are self-employed, you may need specialist advice. This might involve making a claim for benefits. CLIC Sargent welfare advisers can help advise you on the best way to obtain correct, up-to-date advice and support.

You can contact the CLIC Sargent welfare advice service on 0800 915 4439 or

Reviewed July 2014, next planned review 2017