WE ARE STILL HERE; WE ARE STILL HELPING PEOPLE WTH PRIORITY ISSUES

We have launched an action plan to continue an essential service that focuses and targets those who are most vulnerable in our region.

DAGCAS has a duty of care to our clients, our staff, our volunteers and the public in complying with government guidance to help contain the spread of COVID-19. Therefore we have taken the difficult decision to paused all face to face contact with the public across all our bureaus and outreach clinics.

We are delivering an essential service that fully focuses its attention on telephone, webchat and email enquiries.

These are unprecedented times for everyone, we will be here to help people navigate through these challenges that we are facing. DAGCAS offers independent, impartial, free advice to people in Dumfries and Galloway. People are currently contacting us for help with issues such as Universal Credit, employment, debt, finance and other benefits.

We are extra busy during these challenging times and appreciate your patience. To manage demand and pressure on our telephone lines we have a minium of 10 Advisers answering the phone lines and we are dealling with email enquiries as quickly as possible.

To help relieve the pressure on our phone lines please only call us if your enquiry is urgent, for all non-urgent enquiries please email. We thank you for this in advance.

People can access our essential services:


Find out more about Coronavirus by visiting nhs inform.

For more information about what Coronavirus means for you, check out our COVID-19 page.

💙💛  We will give regular updates on our services. Best wishes from everyone from Dumfries and Galloway Citizens Advice💙💛

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Home | News | Do you need to be off work to care for someone?

Do you need to be off work to care for someone?

7th May 2020

You might be able to get help if you’re off work caring for someone who is normally looked after another way. This might be because your child’s school is closed or an older person’s carer can’t come.

You might be able to get:

If you’re off work to look after someone with coronavirus 

Your rights are different – you should check if you can get statutory sick pay because you’re self isolating.

Ask to be ‘furloughed’

Ask your employer if they’ll put you on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme – known as being ‘furloughed’. You’ll be paid 80% of your normal pay up to a maximum of £2,500 a month.

Your employer will decide whether to agree to this based on government guidelines.

You can find out how the scheme works.

If your employer says you have to work

Think about whether you’d be able to do your job flexibly. For example, you might be able to work:

You can find out what kind of flexible working your employer offers by:

If you want to work in a way that your employer doesn’t already offer, you should still ask for it. Some employers are willing to let staff try new ways of working because of coronavirus.

You should check how to talk to your employer about flexible working before asking.

You could also consider using annual leave. Some employers let you ‘buy’ extra days of annual leave – you’ll be paid less but get more days off.

Ask for unpaid leave until you can work again

If you can’t work flexibly, the best way to keep your job is to ask for unpaid leave with no fixed end date. This is called ‘indefinite unpaid leave’.

It’s a good idea to ask your employer to reply in writing. This means you have a record of what they agreed if there’s a problem later.

If your employer says no

The law says they must consider letting you have some unpaid leave, but only for a limited period of time.

If you’re looking after a child, you might be able to get ‘parental leave’. If you can’t, ask for ‘time off for a dependant’ which is a different right.

If you’re caring for an adult, you might be able to get ‘time off for a dependant’.

Check if you can get parental leave

If you’ve worked for your employer for at least a year, you can have unpaid parental leave for each of your children. You get 18 weeks for each child – this is for the whole period until they’re 18. Your child’s other parent can also take 18 weeks.

You can’t take parental leave if you’re furloughed.

The law says you can only take 4 weeks’ leave per child each year. You also have to tell your employer 21 days before you want to be off work. It’s a good idea to check your employment contract and policies – your employer might be more generous than this. For example, you might be allowed more than 4 weeks’ leave in a year.

Even if your contract only allows the legal minimum, you can still ask your employer for what you need. They might be willing to agree because of the unusual situation.

For example, you could ask to start parental leave straight away instead of waiting 21 days.

It’s a good idea to ask your employer to reply to your request for parental leave in writing.

Check if you can get time off for a dependant

You can have some unpaid time off to deal with unexpected problems or emergencies with a dependant. The time off has to be ‘reasonable’ and you can only have enough time to deal with the urgent problem.

A dependant includes:

You need to tell your employer as soon as possible that you’ll need to be off. You also need to say why you need the time off and when you expect to be back.
Try to get their reply in writing as it will help to have a record if there’s a problem later.

If you’re not paid your usual amount

You should check if you can get benefits.

If you need more help, you can get advice from us directly. Call us on our freephone number 0300 303 4321 or email us by filling in our online enquiry form.

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