The Rights of Carers under the Care Act 2014

A carer is someone who provides or intend to provide care to another adult. The Care Act 2014 brought  about significant new rights for carers. These include the entitlement to an assessment based on the appearance of need. Local Authorities have a duty to meet assessed needs of carers – the first legal entitlement to public support. They also have ;-

  • A general duty to promote the individual’s wellbeing which applies to any function under the Care Act 2014
  • A duty on local authorities to prevent, reduce and delay need for support, including the needs of carers.
  • A right for carers’ eligible needs to be met.
  • A duty on local authorities to provide information and advice to carers in relation to their caring role and their own needs.
  • A duty on NHS bodies (NHS England, clinical commissioning groups, NHS trusts and NHS foundation trusts) to co-operate with local authorities in delivering the Care Act functions.

 A carers assessment MUST take into consideration the carer's interests i.e.  work, study or leisure and should focus on promoting wellbeing.

Well being includes:

  1. Personal dignity
  2. Physical/mental health/emotional wellbeing
  3. Protection from abuse and neglect
  4. Control over day-to-day life including nature of care provided
  5. Participation in work, education, training or recreation
  6. Social and economic well-being
  7. Domestic, family and personal relationships
  8. Suitability of living accommodation
  9. The adult’s contribution to society

Carers aged 16 or over who provide a regular and substantial amount of care for someone aged 18 or over, have the right to an assessment of their needs as a carer. If there is more than one carer providing regular care in the household, both are entitled to an assessment.

Occasionally a 16 or 17-year-old who cares for someone for a limited period may be entitled to an assessment. This should take into consideration the young carer's well-being and ensure they receive necessary support.

If you have parental responsibility for a child with disabilities, you have the right to a carer's assessment. You don't need to be the child's parent e.g. grandparents.

Carers and direct payments

  • A direct payment is cash payment made directly to a carer by Social Services if they are assessed as being eligible for support. It can be made to carers aged 16 or over. There are some circumstances where direct payments are not given. Social Services should give an explanation why.

Carers and employment rights

  • Working parents of children with disabilities (under the age of 18) have the right to request flexible working arrangements. They also have a statutory right to ask your employer for flexible working if you care for an adult who is a relative or lives at the same address as them.

Carers also have the right to take unpaid time off work for dependants in an emergency. Returning to work after being a carer may have an impact on any entitlements and benefits received as a carer. The amount of hours worked, earnings and savings will be taken into consideration.