Carers and employment

Caring can be unpredictable and care arrangements complex, so it's vital that you talk with your employer about your concerns and commitments from the outset.

Your rights as a carer in paid work

You have the right to flexible working arrangements under the SA Equal Opportunity Act 1984.

Under the Fair Work Act 2009, you can:

  • request flexible working arrangements if you're the parent or carer of a person with disability under 18 years of age
  • use annual leave entitlements to cover sickness or caring responsibilities
  • negotiate with your employer to draw up an individual arrangement that changes the conditions of your modern award or enterprise agreement to meet a genuine need.

The Carers SA website provides more information about carers' rights, including things like negotiating flexible working arrangements.

Finding or returning to work

  • Approach carer support organisations or employment agencies for advice.
  • Talk to others who have been in a similar position. Local carer support organisations may be able to connect you with someone who is in the same situation.
  • Ensure you know your entitlements under applicable industrial or equal opportunity legislation.
  • Find out if a prospective employer has carer or work-life balance policies.
  • Be honest about your situation, especially if you require flexible working arrangements.
  • If you have been out of the workforce for a very long time, consider whether your skills have become dated. This will be more likely in some professions than in others. Consider updating your skills through further training or re-training for a different profession.
  • Consider getting assistance to update your resume and interview skills.

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Page last updated 18 May 2021

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Department of Human Services
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