Carers Rights Day 2021. Your rights as a carer

by | Oct 20, 2021 | Campaigns, Carer News

What is Carers Rights Day?

Carers Rights Day is on Thursday 25th November 2021. 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.

What are your rights as a carer?

This year’s Carers Rights Day campaign will focus on raising awareness of the rights that unpaid carers have. The pandemic has had a massive impact on the lives of carers, affecting access to services, the ability to juggle work and care and much more. Whether you are a new carer or have been caring for someone for a while, it is important that you understand your rights and are able to access the support that is available to you as soon as you need it. Many people are taking on more caring responsibilities for their relatives and friends who are disabled, ill or older and who need support.

Read our information about your rights as a carer here. Read the Carers Rights FAQs below.

How can we help carers?

There are an estimated 69,000 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.

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 work or 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 and #CarersRightsDay21. 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?

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 people can just take on and do. Further information about being a carer and why carers should be supported is here.

Carers Rights Day events for carers

Caring for your future    Thursday 25th November 2021, 11am.
Carers are invited to a free, short, online talk and discussion from Jessica Shale, Associate Solicitor at Taylor Rose MW, on how you can care for the future through Wills and Trusts including information on providing for the person you care for. The talk is suitable for those who would like to learn more about how they can safely prepare for their future, as well as the futures of those they care for. It is for information only, and there is no obligation to commit to any services spoken about by Jessica. To find out more and book a place, email Amy:

This event is now fully booked  Afternoon tea, Ashdown Park Hotel. Thursday 25th November, 2.30pm.
This event is now fully booked. Please keep an eye on our social media for future afternoon teas and carer activities.

Making Memories Dementia group, 2pm-4pm
Our Making Memories Dementia group is free and a fun and social space for carers of people with dementia to attend with the person they care for, or on their own. More information here.

Young Carers Club, 5pm-6pm
Young carers in East Sussex, aged 5-17 years, can come along to this monthly club to have fun and take part in games and activities. Free. More information here.

Carers UK activities
Carers UK have online events throughout the day. More information here.

Your rights as a carer

Carers have rights including:

  • The right to receive a Carer’s Assessment
  • The right to discuss flexible working options with your employer
  • The right to protection from discrimination
  • The right to request a free flu jab
  • The right to be identified as a carer
  • The right to be consulted on hospital discharge for the person you care for.

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 working and caring take a look at our fact sheet 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?

If you are looking after someone who is elderly or disabled, the law will protect you from 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 their age or disability. 

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.  Find out more information about protection from discrimination and your rights here.


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. You have the right to ask your GP to recognise you as a carer on your patient record. This means you could benefit from a free flu jab and other health and wellbeing options. Your medical practice may also offer flexibility with appointment times for yourself and/or the person you care for to accommodate your caring situation, and agree to share information about the condition of the person you care for (with their consent).

If you have not been identified by your local GP as a carer, check their website to see if they have a simple form you can fill out, or give them a call to find out more.



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 fall ill. Tell your GP or pharmacist that you are a carer and ask your GP to be put on their carers register so that you will be contacted about annual flu jabs. Find out further information here:


Can I get a COVID-19 vaccination as a carer?

A Covid-19 booster vaccine is being offered this Autumn to people aged 16 and over who are a main carer for someone at high risk from COVID-19. More information is here. It’s more important than ever to get the winter vaccines as soon as possible this Autumn, as both flu and COVID-19 viruses have the potential to cause serious illness and hospitalisation. Find out more on the NHS website here. An NHS video explaining winter vaccines can be viewed here


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

When the person you care for is coming out of hospital, you have a right to be consulted on the hospital discharge process. The hospital must identify you as their carer and your views should be considered wherever possible. More information about coming out of hospital, discharge procedures and assessments is available from Carers UK.

Pandemic update: The latest Government guidelines 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 is here.


How can Care for the Carers can help me understand my 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 any other information that can support you in your caring role, please contact us.

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.
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 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.

Please contact us if you would like to talk things through, or would like support. 

Carers rights useful resources


Support our work

With an estimated 69,000 carers and an additional 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.

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