Need help? Advice during COVID-19 crisis Employment advice Caring for Dependants - If you cannot work from home All employees have the right to take time off for dependants. However, this is normally unpaid unless you have a contractual right to paid time off. Dependent means children and other people who depend on you such as a partner or someone who is vulnerable. Normally you are only able to take time off for a short period while you arrange alternative care for your dependent, usually a couple of days. However, in the current circumstances it is likely that this could be for much longer because of the school closures and the social distancing rules that have been imposed. You could also ask to take unpaid parental leave which is normally for much longer. You are required to give notice but again in these circumstances your employer may let you take parental leave even without notice. If you do not have children but you care for someone else, you should speak to your employer and ask if your employer if you can take leave to be able to care for your dependent. This is likely to be unpaid unless you have a contractual provision which allows for paid time off in these circumstances. Your employer may also allow you to take some annual leave.