Carers Rights Day is a national campaign that brings organisations together to help carers in their local community know their rights and find out how to get the support they are entitled to.

There an estimated 65,000 unpaid carers in East Sussex, many of whom are not aware of their rights, or what support they are entitled to. 

Did you know as an unpaid carer you are entitled to....

A carer’s assessment

If you’re looking after someone who couldn’t manage without your help, you have a right to have your own needs assessed, even if the person you are looking after has had an assessment of their own. The assessment will look at the care you provide and how this affects your life. It will consider the things you want to achieve in your own day-to-day life, such as work, training, social activities and well-being. It must also consider other important issues including whether you are able or willing to carry on caring, and it will inform you about what services and support are available to you.

Carers can complete an online assessment form or contact Adult Social Care direct. Care for the Carers can support you if you would like help with completing the assessment form.

Have their views heard and taken into consideration by Adult Social Care when deciding how best to meet the needs of the person they care for.                                                                                 

Comprehensive information and advice about care and support in their local area, including benefits advice. If you are a caring for someone, having the right information at the right time can make a huge difference. East Sussex County Council’s information booklet ‘Do you look after someone?’ describes the help available through their commissioned services if you look after an adult in an unpaid caring role.

Care for the Carers can also signpost you and make a referral to various organisations that can support you as an unpaid carer.

Not be discriminated against on the basis of your association with a disabled person. Examples might be if as a carer you were refused entry to a venue because you were with someone who is disabled - both the person with the disability and you would potentially have been discriminated against.  Another example, is if an employer denies you promotion because of your caring role.

Request flexible working – all employees have the right to ask for flexible working after they have worked for the same employer for 26 weeks (six months), as long as they haven’t already made a flexible working request within the last 12 months.

Flexible working requests should be made in writing and should include details of the revised working pattern you are seeking, how you think this may affect your employer’s business and how you think this request can be dealt with. Employers must have a sound business reason for rejecting a request.

The right to take a ‘reasonable’ amount of time off work to deal with an emergency or an unforeseen matter involving a dependent (someone who depends on you for care).

The time off is unpaid, unless your employer is willing to give paid time off as a contractual right.

Young Carers (under 18 years of age) are entitled to have a “young carers’ needs assessment” to decide what kind of help they and the family might need. The assessment must decide whether it is appropriate for the young person to care for someone else, and this includes taking into account whether they want to be a carer. Consideration must be given to education, training, leisure opportunities and the young person’s views about their future.

To find out more about the services unpaid carers are entitled to and to speak to a support worker, contact our Gateway service by calling 01323 738390, or by emailing [email protected].