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Help for Carers > Education, training and employment > Employment


Carers (Equal Opportunities) Act 2004
Employment Relations Act 1999

An Employee's Guide to Work and Caring (added 5.2.08)
Information booklet for carers, from Carers UK, to help employees balance paid work with caring. It also helps carers prepare to return to work and includes a 4 page pull-out section to give to your employer. Click the link to download a copy www.carersuk.org

Right to request flexible working
There is national recognition of the concerns of carers wanting to stay in work. Carers have the right to request flexible working. Part-time workers have the same rights as full-time workers. For information about the right to request flexible working for carers of adults log on to www.carers.org. For legal rights around flexible working (e.g. childcare issues and other work-life balance considerations) visit

Getting the balance right?
If you are thinking you may have to give up your job to provide care, but don't want to - have a look at this: Factsheet: Flexible Working - from the Working Families organisation

Carers, employment and services in West Sussex added 26.11.07
A survey, conducted by Leeds University and commissioned by Carers UK, has investigated carers of working age and carers who combine their unpaid caring role with paid work. They key findings have been summarised in a report which focuses on the situation of carers living in West Sussex. View the report at www.carersuk.org (Report No 14 from Carers, Employment and Services Report Series)

Main legislative/policy developments affecting carers in England since 1995
(The descriptions highlight selected provisions and do not aim to summarise all aspects of the legislation/policy).

Carers (Recognition and Services) Act 1995 - Introduced the concept of a Carers Assessment.

Caring About Carers: a national strategy for carers Policy statement, Department of Health (1999) - Stressed that enabling carers to combine paid work and care was a priority for government.

Employment Relations Act 1999 - Gave employees the right to ‘reasonable time off’ to deal with emergencies.

Carers and Disabled Childrens Act (2000) - Gave carers of adults and disabled children the right to an Assessment. Introduced Direct Payments, offered to parents of disabled children, to manage on their children’s behalf.

Changes to Invalid Care Allowance (now known as Carers Allowance) (2000)
Amendment to the Social Security (Contributions and Benefits) Act 1992, which included extending carers’ benefits to people aged 65 and over.

Employment Act 2002 - Gave employed parents of disabled children under the age of 18 the right to request flexible working arrangements.

Children Act 2004 - Required local authorities to lead on joined-up service delivery through multi-agency Children's Trusts. Strong emphasis on supporting families and carers, described as 'the most critical influence on children's lives'.

Carers (Equal Opportunities) Act 2004 - Placed a statutory duty on local authorities to inform carers of their rights, and to consider carers' wishes in relation to education, training and employment when conducting Carers Assessments.

Every Child Matters: change for children Policy document (2004)
Indicated that disabled children and children with long-term health conditions should 'receive co-ordinated services which allow them and their families to live as ordinary lives as possible'.

Work and families Act 2006 - Extended the right to flexible working arrangements to all carers in employment, from April 2007.

Childcare Act 2006 - Placed a duty on local authorities to provide sufficient childcare for working parents 'which includes provision suitable for disabled children'.

Our Health, Our Care, Our Say: a new direction for community services, Department of Health White Paper (2006)
Outlined an expectation that local authorities and Primary Care Trusts would identify a Carers Lead.
Recommended the introduction of funds for emergency respite care, and development of an Expert Carers Programme and a national Carers Helpline. Initiated a consultation on a 'New Deal for Carers'.

New Deal for Carers - Policy announcement (2007) - Package of measures relating to respite, emergency Planning and helplines for carers.

Pensions Act (2007) - Recognised carers' situations, and reduced number of qualifying years carers need for a full basic state pension; introduced Carers Credit for those caring 20+ hours a week for someone who is severely disabled.


Sussex Disability Employment Directory 2007/2008 - an employee's and employer's guide to employment services for disabled people in Sussex.


Small icon of an envelope representing Information You can get more information from:

www.carers.org - help and advice on Carers and Employment from the Princess Royal Trust for Carers (PRTC)

www.berr.gov.uk - Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform

www.workingfamilies.org.uk - Helps working parents and carers and their employers find a better balance between responsibilities at home and work.

www.paritas.org.uk - employment agency that recruits and places people who have experienced mental health difficulties.


Icon showing a help image There are people who can help:

West Sussex Carers Support Services (formerly West Sussex Carers Network)



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