If you or the person you support works in a paid or voluntary capacity, there is the need to consider when and how to communicate with your employer. Giving up or changing work can be a traumatic decision so planning early and understanding your rights at work are important. If you are working, there may need to be changes to your work to enable you to provide the sort of support or care you want to give.
There are employment laws in Australia to support carers in the workforce. These laws include the requirement for employers to provide flexible working arrangements, as well as carers’ and compassionate leave.
There are also federal anti-discrimination laws that protect carers against discrimination based on caring responsibilities. Carers Australia provides information on your legal entitlements.
Many Australian organisations have a carer strategy to assist carers balance work and care responsibilities. Human resources staff can advise if a carer strategy is in place, as well as your legislated entitlements. Communicating early with your employer may mean that you can plan a job redesign, or have strategies in place for extended leave or for when you return to work.
There may come a time when legislated workforce entitlements may not be sufficient to balance your working and caring arrangements. There are Australian Government Carer Payments which are more fully discussed in 5.5 Types of Services.
This website also has a page for the person with dementia with information on how they can talk with their employer. This page contain links to information about laws that protect people with disabilities, including dementia, at work. Human Resources personnel should be familiar with these laws and provide assistance to transition to other work or to retirement.