16th November 2018Category: Working Carers
Carers Rights day is on Friday 30th November. It is an annual event organised by national charity Carers UK to highlight the work that unpaid carers do as well as their legal rights. The event is also trying to help people understand who a carer is and reach ‘hidden carers’. Basically the more we talk about unpaid carers, the more society understands carers and their rights. So you might see events popping up promoting Carers Rights Day or you might be tempted to organise something yourself. If you would like more information about Carers UK’s Carers Rights Day please click this link.
At West Cumbria Carers, we are here for all carers including working carers. If you need to talk to someone about your rights in the workplace or feel that you need more support and information to help you with juggling work and caring, we are here. You can contact our office on: 01900 821 976 or you can email firstname.lastname@example.org and someone will get back to you as soon as they can.
As Carers Rights Day is about carer’s rights we thought it would make sense to have a summary of your rights in the workplace as well as point out some interesting facts and figures about caring that you may not know.
Carers do have some rights that are enshrined in law, such as the right to an assessment of your needs as a Carer, and the right to ask your employer for flexible working arrangements. Remember if you are in doubt, you can look on our website as well as talk to us here at the office.
Below is a summary of just some if the rights that could be useful for working carers:
All employees who have worked for their employer for more than 26 weeks have the right to make one application per year for flexible working. Your employer has to give reasonable consideration to your request, although they will obviously need to take into account the needs of the business and possible impact on other colleagues. Employees can only make one application for flexible working a year so it is important to take your time to write this request to make your case.
Your request for flexible working could include:
Producing a well-thought out application to work flexibly will help you and your employer work together to reach an agreement that suits both of you. The request must be made to your employer in writing and your employer must consider your request reasonably and have sound business reasons for turning down your request.
Working carers also have the right to Time off For Emergencies (it’s also known as Time off For Dependants) and gives you the right to a ‘reasonable’ amount of time off work to deal with immediate situations, which could include:
Time off will usually be unpaid, unless your employer chooses to pay you.
If you have a minimum of one year’s continuous service with your employer, and are a Parent Carer of a child under 18, you are entitled to a total of 18 weeks of unpaid leave per child.
To qualify you must:
You may take leave in blocks of a week (usually up to four weeks in any one year) or blocks of a day if the leave is to care for a disabled child (usually up to four weeks in any one year). Agreements in place at your work may allow you to take more than four weeks off in a single year.
If you are looking after someone who is elderly or disabled, the law - under the Equality Act 2010 - will protect you against 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.