What are Carers' Rights?
Since the implementation of the Care Act in 2015, carers now have more rights than ever before. The Act gave carers parity with the people they care for through new entitlements to an assessment of their needs, support to meet their eligible needs, and information and advice.
Carers must know their rights wherever they are in their caring journey: whether they are in the workplace, in a healthcare setting, when interacting with professionals or at home.
First and foremost we need to encourage more people to recognise that they are in caring roles so they can access their rights and get any support needed. It takes time to see yourself as a carer and even longer to recognise you have certain rights. However, it’s important to know your rights to access support that may be essential to maintaining your health, well-being and work-life balance.
A Carer is anyone, including children and adults, who look after a family member, partner or friend who needs help because of their illness, frailty, disability, a mental health problem or an addiction and cannot cope without their support. The care they give is unpaid.
How Do My Rights Help Me?
Carers' Right to Assessment
The Care Act 2014 gives carers the right to support from their local authority. A carer’s assessment is used to look at all your needs, including the things you would like to be able to do in your daily life. Your needs should be written down in a support plan.
Giving care and support to someone can have an impact on your life. It can affect your mental and physical health. You may feel tired, you may notice a significant impact on your relationships and social life and work and education may become harder to manage. The carer's assessment is aimed at identifying these adverse effects on you as a direct result of your caring role and developing a support plan to minimise the effects they have.
Get an assessment by speaking to:
Middlesbrough carers: Middlesbrough Adult Social Care Access Team- 01642 726004
Redcar & Cleveland carers: Redcar & Cleveland Adult Social Care Access Team- 01642 065070
If the person you care for lives in a different Local Authority Area from you, you will need to contact their Local Authority.
Young Carers Assessment
Young carers are children under 18 with caring responsibilities. Their rights to be assessed come mostly from the Children’s Act 1989 and the Children and Families Act 2014. As part of the whole family approach, if there is a disabled adult being cared for, then the local council has a duty to consider whether there are any children involved in providing that care and, if so, what the impact is on that child. Therefore a young carer's assessment is not a stand-alone process and comes as part of an assessment of the need of the person being cared for. However, the assessment must look at:
- whether or not the young carer wishes to continue caring
- whether it is appropriate for them to continue caring against any education, training, work or recreational activities the young carer is or wishes to participate in.
Where a young carer’s eligible needs are identified as requiring support, local councils will have a duty to provide support directly to the young carer or demonstrate that the ‘cared for person's assessment has provided adequate care and support to prevent inappropriate care from being required from the young carer.
If you are a young carer you can contact The Junction Foundation (01642 756000) to discuss any support needs you may have and to discuss accessing an assessment if this is something that has not already been discussed with you.
Rights in Employment
Combining work and caring can be stressful. Whether you're working because you're dependent on your income to support your family or because you love your job and want to build a career, caring for a family member or friend at the same time can make it difficult to focus on your job fully. You are not alone 5 million people in the UK are juggling caring responsibilities with work. You must know your rights:
From 2024, The right to Carer's Leave. The Carers Leave Act was passed on 25 May 2023, and we're awaiting an implementation date, expected to be in 2024. The Act will give 5 days unpaid leave from work, to support those we care for
Carers UK has put together a new short film series, Ally, Jane and Niki discuss how flexible working has helped them balance work with caring and offer their tips on how to start the discussion with an employer. Watch the first in the series here:
For further information about your general rights, see the gov.uk website.
As a working carer, you might need a range of support in the workplace, and often different levels of support at different times. Skills for Care have produced a helpful guide on Balancing Work and Care which is well worth a read, download the carer's guide:
Health and Wellbeing Rights
The right to a free flu vaccination- are you aware that to access your free flu vaccination you need to be registered with your GP as a carer. You can complete our GP Registration Form and hand it in to your surgery to ensure you get invited for your vaccinations but also for better understanding and support in line with your health and wellbeing needs. Download the Carers GP Registration Form.
Carers and Disabled People Have the Right Not to be Discriminated Against or Harassed Under the Equality Act.
Carers have the right not to be discriminated against as a result of their caring role and “association” with a disabled person.
As a carer, there may be benefits, grants or other financial support available to you. You may be entitled to claim carers allowance, carer's credit, income support or universal credit. Find out more about financial support for carers.
Don't forget there are plenty of local organisations waiting to listen and support you.
Who Can Help Me?
Carers Together offer friendly and confidential services that aim to ease the pressure of caring. The team are on hand to help carers with any issues they may face, including benefits, health problems, housing, training, employment, taking a break from caring or concerns about the person they care for. Support available includes:
- Carers Information and Support service
- Carers Assessments
- Support for carers of patients in hospitals
- A Counselling service
- Information and support for working carers and employers
- Carers Card Scheme
- Training for Carers
Contact the team. Tel: 01642 488977 Email: email@example.com
Download Carers Together's leaflet:
Middlesbrough CAB can provide advice and assistance with a range of issues that may affect you as a carer. These include:
- Welfare Benefits. We have a team of benefits advisers who can check your benefit entitlement and provide help with completing application forms. If your application is unsuccessful, we can help to challenge the DWP decision.
- Debt. We can help you to manage your debt. We do this by helping to maximise your income and reduce your expenditure to levels you can afford.
- Employment. An employment expert can provide advice about your rights at work as a carer, including discrimination issues. The adviser can help with claims if you need to take your employer to an employment tribunal.
- Energy. We can help look at ways of reducing your expenditure on energy and check if you are eligible for any energy support schemes.
Although at this time face to face services are closed, you can get in touch with the team by ringing 01642 802282 or by going to our website, www.mcab.org.uk and completing the enquiry form.
Download the Citizens Advice help and support information for carers:
Adviceline: 03444111444 Office Tel: 01642 030000 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Address: Redcar CAB, 17 Queen Street, Redcar, Cleveland, TS10 1AB.
Making life better for young carers, young adult carers and their families.
The Junction works to support, young carers, young adult carers and their families through:
- One-to-one support
- Group work and social activities to build skills, peer networks friendships, confidence and self-belief
- Whole family support.
Contact the team. Tel: 01642 756000 Email: email@example.com
What to do if you feel you are not being heard?
Advocacy means getting support from another person to help you express your views and wishes, and help you stand up for your rights. Someone who helps you in this way is called an advocate.
A general advocate helps to:
- find out information
- speak to professionals
- empower individuals to make their own informed decisions
- ensure individuals views and wishes are heard.
- support individuals to navigate through the health and social care system
- a general advocate cannot support with filling out forms, benefits our bidding for housing.
A general advocate could support you to ensure any concerns you or your loved on has about their care are listened too heard. They can help you to understand legal processes, support you to access more services and provide support with a care act assessment. If you require we can represent the views of the person that you care for by simply completing a separate referral form.
To find out more about the different types of advocacy available through the team click here.
To access Teesside Mind advocacy you must be:
- aged 16+ or 18+ depending upon the type of advocacy
- living in Teesside
All referrals for Teesside Mind are made to People First who run the advocacy hub, they can be made online or over the phone.
Website: www.wearepeoplefirst.co.uk Telephone: 03003038037
Once a referral is made to the hub it is allocated to one of five providers of advocacy locally, Teesside Mind are one of the providers, you can request to specifically receive support from them if preferred.