Approaching your employer
Why your employer may accommodate your requests
As a caregiver, you may be hesitant to ask for time off work. However, your employer may consider such a request. For example, they may:
- Value your contributions to the company
- Want to demonstrate support for employed caregivers
- Have experience working with employed caregivers and know the benefits of an accommodating schedule
- Have obligations to you under the Employment Standards Act, Human Rights Code and Workers Insurance Act
- Recognise that you need time off work to manage your schedule and stress. High stress levels could lead to health problems that require extended sick leave and other financial liabilities for your employer.
- Recognise that courts are becoming increasingly intolerant of companies who ignore the effects of excessive workplace demands on employee stress levels and mental health
- Have experience with caregiving and sympathize with your situation
Removing the stigma of dementia
You may be concerned about disclosing to your boss that a family member has dementia due to the attached stigma. But consider the following:
- Employers are becoming more familiar with dementia in the workplace.
- Employers are acquiring a better understanding of the needs of people with dementia and their caregivers.
- Many employers have experienced dementia within their own family.
- Being open about your situation is a step towards ending stigma.
Going in prepared
Before approaching your boss, speak with your Human Resources department to learn about the company’s policies regarding leave and other benefit programs.
Be prepared to discuss the following with your boss:
- Work scheduling options
- Company policies regarding leave and other benefit programs, like an employee assistance program
- The impact of an adjusted schedule on compensation
- The company’s legal obligations to you