Carers rights Information, advice and an assessment of your needs. Care Act 2014 The new Care Act came into force on 1 April 2015 and gave carers rights on an equal footing to the people they care for.Their new rights include taking into consideration the carer’s health and wellbeing, family relationships and their need to balance their home life with their education or work. If they are found to be eligible they are entitled to support, sometimes funded by their local authority. In addition, all local authorities must provide advice and information and prevent carers’ needs from getting worse. Not be treated unfairly due to your caring role. Equality Act 2016 The Equality Act 2010 is a law aimed at stopping discrimination and helping to encourage equality. It could help you if you care for someone who is elderly or disabled, the law will protect you against direct discrimination or harassment because of your caring responsibilities. This is because you’re counted as being ‘associated’ with someone who is protected by the law because of their age or disability. Example: Ms Battle applies for a job which involves a lot of travelling. She has the best skills and experience but the company knows that Ms Battle cares for her son who is disabled.The company makes an assumption that she cannot manage because she has a disabled son and so it doesn’t offer her the job. This is direct discrimination because Ms Battle is associated with a disabled person. It’s against the law to refuse to offer her the job for that reason. A private life and to be free from inhuman treatment. Human Rights Act 1998 Article 8 of the European human rights convention was held to be relevant in R (Bernard) v Enfield LBC  EWHC 2282 (Admin); (2002) 5 CCLR 577, where a local authority was held to have failed to take positive measures to enable the disabled person and her carer 'to enjoy, so far as possible, a normal private and family life' (para 32). There are, in addition, many human rights provisions of direct applicability to the right to care and the rights of carers, for example: The obligation in … Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities article 28(2)(c) that states provide support for persons with disabilities 'and their families'. General Comment 5 of the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (1994), which stresses the importance of financial support for 'individuals (who are overwhelmingly female) who undertake the care of a person with disabilities'. General Comment 9 of the Committee on the Rights of the Child (2007), which stresses the need for the special care and assistance required by family members caring for disabled children. The obligations in the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women on states to 'enable parents to combine family obligations with work responsibilities and participation in public life' (article 11(2)(c) and see article 16). The Council of Europe Recommendation Rec (2006)19 which calls for 'the removal of barriers to positive parenting, whatever their origin' and for employment policies that 'allow a better reconciliation of family and working life' (3(ii)). Request flexible or changed hours to fulfil your caring role. Employment Rights Act 1996/2014Flexible working is a way of working that suits an employee’s needs, e.g. having flexible start and finish times, or working from home. All employees have the legal right to request flexible working - not just parents and carers. This is known as ‘making a statutory application’. Employees must have worked for the same employer for at least 26 weeks to be eligible. Employers must deal with requests in a ‘reasonable manner’. Examples of handling requests in a reasonable manner include:- assessing the advantages and disadvantages of the application- holding a meeting to discuss the request with the employee- offering an appeal processDownload ‘Acas code of practice for handling requests in a reasonable manner’ (PDF, 175KB)If an employer doesn’t handle a request in a reasonable manner, the employee can take them to an employment tribunal. An employer can refuse an application if they have a good business reason for doing so. Legal Advice: I am looking for advice Law Centres defend the legal rights of people who cannot afford a lawyer. They are specialists working in their local communities to uphold justice and advance equality. http://www.lawcentres.org.uk/ More information on the rights and entitlements of unpaid carers here: BIHR_Pocket_Guide_for_Carers Other sources of information: Age UK: www.ageuk.org.uk Carers UK: www.carersuk.org Directgov: www.direct.gov.uk Disability organisations – there are many local and national organisations that could help you. If you go to the Directgov website, you can find useful contact details. Equality and Human Rights Commission: www.equalityhumanrights.com Government Equalities Office: www.equalities.gov.uk You can also visit your local Citizens Advice Bureau.