Making decisions about work

Some people may think about giving up work or taking early retirement to care for someone. But this could have a big effect on your life in a number of ways. So it is something you need to think about carefully before you decide.

Giving up work will affect your finances. It may also make you feel isolated and out of touch with friends at work. Some carers get a lot of support from their friendships at work.

Giving up work may also have an effect on your future career development. It may mean that you cannot keep your skills up to date. This could make it harder to get back into the job market later on.

You may find it helpful to learn more about your rights as a carer and employee before making your decision. For more information about this, you can contact the Carers UK helpline.

Before giving up work, think about the following questions:

  • Would requesting flexible working help you manage both working and caring?
  • Could you take a paid or unpaid break from work to think about your options?

Make sure you do not feel pressured to give up your job. If you do feel like this, you can speak to someone in your HR department.

Your finances

Giving up work will also affect your finances. This includes your income, your pension and any employee benefits you are entitled to. Our financial guides can help you – call them for free on 0808 808 00 00.

If early retirement is an option, discuss it with your employer. For some people, it could be an advantage. But for others, it can leave them financially worse off. Our financial guides can discuss this option with you.

We have more information about benefits you may be able to get if you are a carer.

If you are self-employed

If you are self-employed, you will have more control over your working life than someone who is employed. But you will not have the same rights and protection. You and your family may also depend on the income from your business. This can put extra pressure on you as a carer if your working life is affected.

We have information on self-employment and cancer. It is written for people with cancer, but you may find some of the information useful.

Back to If you are working while looking after someone with cancer

Working and being a carer

If you are working while caring for someone with cancer, it is important to get the support you need.

Your rights at work as a carer

It is important to be aware of your legal rights in the workplace. Your human resources department may be able to help you.