Supporting staff with caring responsibilities


Do you care for someone outside of work ?

There are around seven million carers in the UK – that is one in ten people. Nearly one in eight workers is a carer.

The University recognises that some staff have caring responsibilities. The University also appreciates that carers’ needs are different from the needs of employees with mainstream childcare responsibilities, and that the circumstances and demands of caring may also be varied for individual employees.

The University provides support to these staff to enable them to combine work with care.


All staff

Definition of staff with caring responsibilities:

For the purpose of these principles, carers are defined as members of staff with significant caring responsibilities that have a substantial impact on their working life. A staff member is a carer if they are responsible for the care and support of a disabled, elderly or sick partner, relative or friend who is unable to care for themselves.

The activities that staff with caring responsibilities undertake are wide ranging, including, but not limited to:

  • help with personal care;
  • help with mobility;
  • managing medication;
  • practical household tasks;
  • emotional support; and
  • help with financial matters or paperwork.

Key Principles:

1. To enable the University to provide staff with the appropriate support, staff are encouraged to advise their manager, in confidence, of their caring responsibilities. If a staff member does not wish to disclose their caring responsibilities to their manager, it is recommended that they approach their faculty HR contact for support.

2. All managers should respect the staff member’s wishes in relation to the confidentiality of their caring responsibilities.

3. Upon disclosure, the staff member and their manager should consider what adjustments may help to combine work with caring duties.

4. The University recognises that staff with caring responsibilities are not always able to plan ahead for time off for dependants. To prepare for instances where urgent or emergency care is necessary, it is recommended that the staff member and their manager set out arrangements for such events.

How the University policies supports this:

  • The University will ensure that consideration and decisions, in relation to arrangements to accommodate work and caring responsibilities, are made in accordance with the Equality Act 2010.
  • The University will provide time off for staff to make arrangements to deal with specific circumstances involving a dependant. See Time Off for Dependants or Compassionate Leave.
  • The University will provide reasonable time off for staff to make arrangements to deal with specific circumstances involving a dependant. See Time off for Dependants.
  • The University will consider requests for flexible working, from all staff with 26 weeks continuous service with the University.
  • The University will provide managers with guidance on how to consider requests for time off for dependants and flexible working arrangements fairly and consistently. See Flexible Working Managers Guidance.

What University services support this:

Staff Networks: Staff networks are run by staff for staff and bring together people from all faculties, departments and services that identify with the group. They fulfil various functions including providing opportunities for social interaction, peer support and personal development. To find out how to get involved please click here.


Staff Wellbeing: With research showing that carers’ health and wellbeing is negatively impacted by their caring responsibilities, the Staff Wellbeing programme can help by providing access to free activities such as Meditation, Bootcamps, Walking Group, and many others. The Staff Wellbeing offer can support staff carers to be active, connect, take notice, keep learning and give as part of our 5 ways to wellbeing.

Photo of bandstand in weston park

Staff Helpline - 0800 028 1947: The staff helpline is provided by an independent external provider, Health Assured, and is a means for all staff and their immediate families to access practical help, information, advice and support to address and resolve problems and issues staff may currently be facing. The service is free, independent, confidential and available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

image of a hand holding a phone with the health assured logo on

Staff Counselling: Members of staff are able to access confidential counselling which is provided by Health Assured. The counselling service is available two ways, via Telephone or Face-to-face. For information on this service, please click here.


Further information for Staff Carers:

For information on Sheffield Carer’s Centre please find the link to the right.

For anyone across Sheffield and their loved ones affected by an illness that has no cure there is a new addition to St Luke’s, Sheffield’s Hospice - Clifford House. Offering practical support, relaxation, wellbeing and above all, fun. There are free activities and lunch Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday, as well as plenty of free parking. Clifford House can even help with transport to get you there. Fore more information please call 0114 235 7650, or email

You may also wish to find further information on local and national support available for carers from the following websites:

Staff can sign up to recieve a newsletter from Sheffield Carers by getting in touch with them here -

If you are looking for information on the support the University offers young carers rather than Adult or staff carers, please redirect here.