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.
It is important that carers 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.
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 in order to access support that may be essential to maintaining your own health, well-being and work-life balance.
How do my rights help me?
Carers right to an 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
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 for 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. It is important you know your rights:
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:
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.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
Download Carers Together's leaflet:
The Carers UK telephone helpline is available on 0808 808 7777 from Monday to Friday, 9 am – 6 pm or you can contact them by email email@example.com
Carers UK provides information and guidance to unpaid carers. This covers a range of subjects including:
- Benefits and financial support
- Your rights as a carer in the workplace
- Carers' assessments and how to get support in your caring role
- Services available to carers and the people you care for
- How to complain effectively and challenge decisions
Carers UK has produced this free, downloadable, guide for carers:
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 issues of discrimination. 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.
Tel: 01642 771166 E-mail: email@example.com
Address: Welfare Rights, Belmont House, Rectory Lane, Guisborough, TS14 7FD.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org