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The 2001 census established that there are at least 3 million carers in the UK who also work in paid employment. As a working carer you not only have the pressures of a job, but also the additional pressures of caring for a loved one.
The work and Families Act 2006 gives new rights to carers to request flexible working. This could be anything from altering your arrival and leaving times, to having access to a phone, or getting emergency paid leave. It might make your life a lot easier to work long days on Monday and Tuesday, and then do a half day on Friday. Put this in writing to your employer. They may suggest an alternative arrangement - this should work as a dialogue so you can work out something that suits both of you.
More information about flexible working can be found at carers.org which also has relevant links to the Direct Gov website which may be of use.
There are financial implications of being a working carer which are discussed in the financial help section of this website.
Checkout Carers Rights Guide Factsheet
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Updated April 2015