Caring responsibilities can include caring for young children, for children or adults with disabilities, mental illness, chronic illness, or for older people.
Many employees will have caring responsibilities at different times in their lives.
Employers have an obligation to avoid discrimination against carers in some circumstances.
Under the Sex Discrimination Act, it is against the law for employers to directly discriminate against a person because of their responsibilities to care for a family member.
Under the Disability Discrimination Act, it is against the law to discriminate against a person because of their association with a person with a disability.
It is good practice for organisations to develop strategies to support employees with caring responsibilities.
Example: An employer wishes to support an employee who has primary care for an elderly parent. The employer does this by providing information and resources on the organisation’s policies and the services available in the community. The employer also provides flexible work arrangements which allow the employee to work from home and to work part-time when required.