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Legalities about giving up my job to care for my elderly dad

Posted by

Hi, am new to this, so bear with me!  I want to give up my job to care for my dad in his last few months, and he wants to give me some money in recompense for losing salary/covering travel costs etc etc. 

I wondered a) is this legal, b) would it be deemed as my dad employing me as such all the PAYE business, c) if legal, what is the process to make sure that its done properly.

Sorry to sound so blunt, its the only way of dealing with things to be practical, otherwise I find it difficult to cope.....

Many thanks if you are able to advise

Ellen B - Macmillan


I hope you don't mind me responding here. My name's Ellen and I work as part of the Community team here at Macmillan. I've moved your question into our 'Ask a Work Support Adviser' session as they'll be better able to answer your question. They'll aim to respond within 3 working days.

Best wishes,


Community Team 

Su - Macmillan
Posted by

Hi ,

Thank you so much for taking the time to contact us about giving up your job to care for your dad in his last few months. On the Work Support Team, we help people with their employment issues and providing information relating to employment rights.

As a carer for someone affected by cancer you may be protected from disability discrimination by association. This means you should not be treated less favorabily in the workplace as a person supporting someone with cancer. I have attached our booklet ‘Working while caring for someone with cancer’ (page 40 explains the protection you have in the workplace). You may want to have a read through this booklet about your rights as a carer before handing in your notice to your employer. Once you have handed in your notice your employer is under no obligation to reverse this or have you back later if you wish to return to this role.

A statutory right you have as a carer is to have time off to look after a dependant in an emergency. This wouldn’t normally apply to planned appointments. You can find out more information if you click here. An employer is not obligated to pay an employee for time off unless it is written into their contract of employment.

If you have 26 week’s continuous service, you have a statutory right to request flexible working. Under the statutory procedure, you can only make one request per year. Your employer can turn down a request for business reasons. They should follow a fair procedure, which would usually mean allowing you the right to appeal a negative decision. You can find more information if you click here. The Working Families website also have a lot of useful information include an template letter to request flexible working.

I am not sure if you have considered it, but an option may be to look at discussing with your employer about a possible career break or sabbatical. This is where you agree with your employer to take a fixed amount of time off work i.e. 6 months. During this break you will not be paid by your employer and in some instance the employer will be unable to class this is continuous service, so you may be classed as a new employee (contractually) upon your return to work. Some employers are unable to guarantee the role will still be available to return to after your career break. For this reason, it may be advisable to ask your employer to put something in writing to state they will class your career break as continuous service and ensure you can return to the role after the agreed career break, if this is an option you are considering.

There may be some benefits that you are entitled to as a carer, we have a team here at Macmillan called our Financial Help Team, they can carry out a benefits assessment and help get you and your dad access to anything through the benefits system that you may be entitled too. The team is available Monday to Friday 8am till 8pm on 0808 808 0000. Alternatively, we do offer benefits support in the community, here is a link the ‘In your area’ section of our website where you can find the details of our teams locally using your postcode.

Alternatively, you could have a look at the pages for support and information for carers. To help to identify if your agreement with your dad could be constituted as employment and therefore subject to PAYE you may need to seek advice from HMRC about this, the contact details for them are here.


Work Support Advisor


Remember you can also speak with the Macmillan Support Line team of experts. Phone free on 0808 808 0000 (7 days a week, 8am-8pm) or by email.