We’re supporting Carers Rights Day and helping unpaid carers understand the rights they currently have, the new ones coming soon and the ones that could improve their lives in the future.

Your rights.PNGIf you are an unpaid carer, you're entitled to certain rights. You have the right to access services, help with you health and wellbeing, and vital information and support in looking after your partner, family member or friend. 

To learn more about your rights click the drop down menus below or visit the Carers UK website. 

If you are juggling work with your caring responsibilities, you have the right to request flexible working. Carers UK has a range of information on what your rights are and how to make the request with your employer. Visit the Carers UK website for further information. 

If you provide unpaid care, you can ask your GP practice to identify you as a carer on your patient record and might be called forward for priority vaccines or other public health campaigns. Carers UK has information on how to talk to your GP – and even provides a useful letter template to download and use. You can find them on the Carers UK website.

If you look after an older or disabled person, the law - under the Equality Act 2010 – protects you against direct discrimination or harassment because of your caring responsibilities. (In Northern Ireland carers are protected under the Human Rights Act and Section 75 of the Northern Ireland Act.) Understanding your rights can be useful if you feel you have been treated unfairly because of your caring role – and you may also be protected under other laws including disability or sex discrimination legislation. Learn more on the Carers UK website.

Many carers find it easier to continue in their caring role if they can get some assistance. If it appears that they have needs for support, they can have a carer’s assessment. If you’re over 18 and provide regular unpaid care for someone, you’re entitled to a carer’s assessment - it doesn’t matter how much or what sort of care you provide. Why not watch the Carers UK animation on having a carer’s assessment?

It’s essential to find ways to look after your health and wellbeing and one way is to exercise your right to request a free flu jab. If you are the main carer for an older or disabled person, who may be put at risk if you became ill, or if you are in receipt of Carer’s Allowance, you should be offered a free flu jab. Speak to your GP or local pharmacist or see our website. Carers are also a priority group for accessing Covid booster jabs this winter.

If you are a carer and the person you care for is being discharged from hospital, the hospital must identify and consult with you, where possible. Carers UK has produced handy fact sheets for carers in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales (including a Welsh language version) which explains your rights and what you can expect, helping relieve some of the stress that can occur when someone close to you has been in hospital.

The Carer’s Leave Act is something Carers UK has been campaigning for and expect it will become law in 2024. It will give employees juggling work with unpaid care a legal right to request up to five days unpaid leave every twelve months, which will help manage some of the day-to-day challenges of being a carer – enabling them to stay in employment.

With the introduction of the new Employment Relations (Flexible Working) Act anyone, including unpaid will be able to ask their employer for changes to their working hours, times of work, or place of work, from day one. And being able to ask for a different flexible working arrangements more than once a year will be a huge help too.

Carers Rights Day was first established in the UK by Carers UK, a charity that supports unpaid family carers. Since its inception, the event has grown and evolved to become a nationally recognised day dedicated to addressing the needs and rights of carers. Carers Rights Day plays a crucial role in increasing awareness about the challenges faced by carers and advocating for improved support and recognition.

To learn more about Carers Rights Day please visit the Carers UK website