Carers rights – what you need to know!
Every day 6,000 people become carers, looking after family or friends who are older, disabled or seriously ill.
Caring for a family member or loved one is a very generous and selfless thing to do and it can be extremely rewarding. However, taking on such a physically and emotionally demanding role can also take its toll.
We are highlight the challenges carers face as we recognise the contribution carers make to families and communities throughout the UK. It is important to know your rights in order to access support that may be essential in maintaining your own health, wellbeing and work life balance and getting the right information at the right time can make all the difference.
If you are looking after someone who is elderly or disabled, the Equality Act 2010 protects you against direct discrimination or harassment because of your caring responsibilities. This is because you are counted as being ‘associated’ with someone who is protected by the law because of his or her age or disability.
As a carer you have certain basic rights. You have the right to:
A carer’s assessment:
- Everyone is entitled to a free carer’s assessment; it is a chance to discuss what services or support you need as a carer. The adult social services department of your local council provides carer’s assessments. The kind of help and support you can get include; respite, information on local carers support groups, help with caring, and any relevant equipment.
Request flexible working from your employer:
- Combining work and caring can be stressful. Flexible working can enable you to balance your responsibilities and support you in your role as a carer. All carers have the right to request flexible working if you are an employee with 26 weeks continuous employment at the time you make an application.
Receive financial support through Carer’s Allowance, if you are eligible:
- It is important to get a benefits check to make sure you and the person you are looking after are claiming all the benefits you are entitled to.
- There are other ways you may be able to get help with your household finances – such as help with fuel costs, help with health costs, or by applying for certain loans or grants.
One of the three million carers in Britain combining caring duties with paid employment
We understand the stress and pressures of being a carer. Our carer support workers can offer advice on everything from finance and welfare to medication and possible side effects.
Our teams can also provide or signpost you to a range of local activities and support groups, including peer support and leisure and social activities and we can even offer you the chance to recharge your batteries by taking a carer break. To speak to one of the team, contact enquiries@ makingspace.co.uk
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