My nanny is absent from work as they need to care for a family member

***The information given on these pages is the legal stance based on the government advice, please be mindful that this advice can change. This is the absolute minimum required by law. It is the Employer's decision whether they need their employee to work and what they pay to their nanny, you are allowed to pay above the minimum if you wish to. Making decisions about whether to pay more than the minimum can be a very difficult one, you will need to consider many things, such as, your future relationship with your employee and the affordability for you and your employee in these troubling times. It is wonderful to see that many employers have been able to retain their employees on full pay during this pandemic, but we appreciate that some will not be able to. Please be assured that this is your decision to make.***

This will likely fall under the statutory rules for Emergency Dependant Leave, which is a statutory right afforded to all employees but normally unpaid. This right allows an employee to leave the workplace, or not attend the workplace if they are needing to deal with an emergency situation involving a dependant.

If longer-term care is going to be required for a dependant, then Dependant Leave does not extend to allow the employee time off to care for the dependant.

If this is required, the employee would be required to put in place alternative care arrangements allowing them to return to work. If the dependant is a child, and longer-term care is required then this continuing absence could be agreed as a period of Parental Leave (which again is unpaid).

This will be a potentially tricky situation to deal with in these specific circumstances as if an employee’s family member has suspected COVID-19, this could mean the employee has been exposed, so there may be a requirement for the employee to self-isolate.

This guidance was updated on 6th April 2020 in line with gov.uk updates around furlough.  Gov.uk now states as follows :

"Employees who are unable to work because they have caring responsibilities resulting from coronovirus (COVID-19) can be furloughed. For example, employees that need to look after children can be furloughed."