Carers Rights Day 2020. Know your rights

by | Oct 22, 2020 | Campaigns, Carer News

What are your rights as a carer?

Carers Rights Day is on Thursday 26th November 2020. This year’s Carers Rights Day theme is `Know your rights’ and we have lots of information about your rights as a carer here. Carers Rights Day is a national campaign that brings organisations together to help unpaid carers know their rights and find out how to get the support they are entitled to.

How can we help carers?

There are an estimated 68,000 unpaid carers in East Sussex, with an additional 34,000 carers caring for someone because of the pandemic. Many carers are not aware of their rights, or what support they are entitled to.

Please spread the word and if you know someone who is caring for someone, let them know that there is help and support available. Carers may not realise that they are carers at all, and looking after someone is something that they take on and do. Further information about being a carer and why carers should be supported is here.

Carers rights’ FAQs

What is a carers 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 wellbeing. 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. We can support you if you would like help with completing the assessment form.

I am a working carer. Do I have rights?
As an unpaid carer you have a right to request flexible working, time off in emergencies and parental leave. The Employment Rights Act 1996 gives all employees the right to take a ‘reasonable’ amount of time off work in order to deal with an emergency involving a dependant. It is at the discretion of the employer, whether or not the time off is paid or unpaid.

If you are an employee with 26 weeks continuous employment at the time you make an application, you have the right to request flexible working.

You also have the right not to be discriminated against or dismissed because you have made the request.

To find out more about your rights visit the Carers UK website here 

I'm a young carer under 18 years old. Can I get assessed?

Young Carers  who are under 18 years of age are entitled to 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.

If you under 16 or looking for support for young carers, you can contact East Sussex Young Carers/IMAGO, which supports Young Carers aged 5-18 who are responsible for caring for a family member with a long term illness or disability, prioritising Young Carers caring for a parent with a mental health or drug and alcohol issue.Telephone:0300 777 2011 or

I am looking after someone who is disabled. What are my rights?

As a carer, you cannot be discriminated against on the basis of your association with a disabled person. An example is when, as a carer, you are refused entry to a venue because you are 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. For more information about your rights, contact us.

What financial help is available for carers?

As an unpaid carer, it is important to know what benefits you and the person you care for are entitled to. It might make a difference to your pension entitlements in the future or bring in extra money to help pay for care. To find out what benefits you may be entitled to call HARC on 01424 428375 or call Carers UK Adviceline on 0808 808 7777. You can also use the online Turn2Us benefits calculator that calculates entitlement to means-tested benefits and carers allowance.

For further information about the Care Act, and for useful fact sheets regarding Carers Rights and benefits see the Carers UK website.

Will my GP know that I am a carer?

Your GP may not necessarily be aware that you are a carer looking after someone. So it is worth making sure your GP practice has you registered as a carer on your medical record. This will entitle you to a free flu vaccination and, depending on  surgery needed, may also offer flexibility with appointment times for yourself and/or the person you care for to accommodate your caring situation, and agreement to share information about the condition of the person you care for (with their consent).

Can I get a flu jab as a carer?

As a carer, you’re entitled to a free flu jab each year if you receive a carer’s allowance or are the main carer for an older or disabled person who may be at risk if you get sick. Tell your GP or pharmacist that you are a carer. Find out further information here:


What happens if I move to a different area?
You can move between local authority areas and still receive the same level of support.

The Care Act’s’Continuity of Care’ information notes that carers should be supported if they need to move between local authority areas in England, without suffering a gap in the care they need when they arrive in the new area.‘Continuity’ means making sure that, when an adult who is receiving care and support in one area of England moves home, they will continue to receive care on the day of their arrival in the new area.

This means that there should be no gap in care and support when people choose to move.In any of these circumstances, the adult (or someone on their behalf) must tell the local authority where they plan to move (the ‘second authority’) of their intentions.

What if the person I care for is coming out of hospital?

The Coming out of hospital  fact sheet from Carers UK gives you information about your rights as a carer during the hospital discharge procedure, the steps that should be followed before the person you care for is discharged, and what you can do if things go wrong.

Pandemic update: New guidelines have been published by the Government to help hospitals safely discharge patients into the appropriate setting to maximise their independence and ensure they can remain in their own homes as much as possible. Government guidance is here and further information here.


I work in a hospital. How can I help carers?

You can see the Guidelines for the practice of involving carers and carers admission, which aim to help hospital staff to understand their role in involving carers with care and discharge planning for the people they care for. They also set out the steps staff should take when carers are admitted to hospital.


How Care for the Carers can help you understand your rights

We are here to help all carers in East Sussex. If you would like to understand and know more about your rights as a carer with guidance through the health and social care system, or help to find out about welfare rights, training, and development opportunities call us on 01323 738390 or email us at 

How can I make the best choice of care for the person I care for?

You can have your voice heard and taken into consideration by Adult Social Care when deciding how best to meet the needs of the person you care for. Having the right information at the right time can make a huge difference. Care for the Carers can suggest what to consider for gathering together the right information in advance, for when you might need it, as well as how to access timely information. East Sussex County Council’s information booklet ‘Do you look after someone?’ describes the help available through its 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.

Get involved and spread the word

You can help to raise awareness and reach more carers by getting involved. Print any of the posters below or show on your mobile or tablet to share online, in your work place and with your friends, family and networks. You can also display a poster on your community noticeboard, doctor’s surgery or library. Every single poster helps to raise awareness of unpaid carers and the rights that carers are entitled to.

Post a photo of yourself with the poster, either printed off or on your mobile or tablet, on our social media and share widely. Please ask your networks, friends and family to do the same!  Tag us in and use #CarersRightsDay. Find us on InstagramTwitterFacebook.  If you are a business in East Sussex, how about offering a special deal on Carers Rights Day for carers, or get involved on social media by posting a photo supporting carers?

Carers Rights Day events

Thursday 26th November 2020, 10am. We’ll be joining The Mayor of Eastbourne, Councillor Steve Wallis, and Councillor Peter Diplock at a Carer Coffee event for Carers Rights Day from 10am next Thursday 26th November. Sign up for the coffee morning here:

Wednesday 25th November, 11am-12.15pm. Decision making talk – features Power of Attorney, Mental Capacity and Court of Protection. By Renaissance Legal. For parent carers and those caring for young people. To book your place, email

Support our work

With 34,000 new carers in East Sussex as a result of the pandemic, Care for the Carers needs your support now more than ever to ensure that no one is left to care alone. You can help us by donating here this Carers Rights Day. If you would like to get involved with fundraising on the day, please contact Amy by emailing to find out more.

Carers rights useful resources



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