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Your evidence needed: discrimination as a carer - Carers UK Forum

Your evidence needed: discrimination as a carer

Take part in research or give your opinion in a survey.
Carers UK needs your help to lobby for new protections for carers in a proposed Government bill. The Government is currently putting together a new Equalities Bill, bringing together all existing equalities legislation into one piece of legislation, to help in tackling things like age discrimination and the gender pay gap.

However, despite pressure from Carers UK, the Government has refused to specifically identify carers in the proposed legislation or include measures designed to protect them in the bill. Government still hasn’t decided what they are going to do following the Coleman case outlawing discrimination in the workplace.

In the autumn, the House of Commons Work and Pensions Select Committee announced an inquiry into the Equalities Bill, and has asked Carers UK to present evidence on the case for including carers.

Making your experiences count: Tell us about your real accounts of how you have been discriminated against as a carer. This will help MPs to understand how discrimination affects carers’ daily lives.

Have you been discriminated against at work or whilst trying to find a job?

Have you been discriminated against trying to buy goods or services? Have you been refused a loan because you have a disabled person in your household?

Have you been discriminated against by health professionals who have overlooked your needs as a carer? Have you missed hospital appointments because they refuse to be flexible

Have you been discriminated against in education? Have you been unable to attend a class because they won’t let you bring the person you are for with you?

If you have been the victim of unfair discrimination as a result of being a carer please tell us about it in this thread.

What impact this discrimination has had on your life? Try and think about discrimination against you as a carer and by association with the person you care for, rather than against them directly.
Hi Matt,
Not sure if this qualifies, but here goes.

One of the problems we encountered was hospital transport only being able to accommodate myself as carer, a big problem as my youngest was only 18 months old and I couldn't get anyone to sit for him. Very stressful dealing with the authorities and trying to arrange appointments for after my husband was home from work. Most of the time it ended up costing a fortune in taxis.
The week my husbands eyesight went, I developed a chest infection that the Dr said I needed to be on bedrest for. Our children were 11,9 and 6 years old. I tried to get transport to take them to school while I was ill, as my husband could not get them there. My elder son, with Downs could have transport, my younger son, with Diabetes could have transport, but my 6 year old daughter who had no special needs, could not have transport. I had to get up and take them to school, even though I was really ill.

Several years ago, a hospital specialist told me that she would recommend a hysterectomy normally, for problems I was having, but due to me being a Carer, she would not recommend it, as I would be unable to have sufficient rest afterwards!
Lots of agencies receive funds from places like the lottery to provide services such as trips out and sports for young people with a disability. And social services also provide some services, or direct payments.

But very few funders appear to understand that the young person with a disability often has siblings, that they are "young carers" , and that they also suffer because their parents are so tied up in caring for the child with a disability. So the siblings lose out both ways - whilst they might quite like a bit of time with their parents, they also can miss out on some exciting and enjoyable opportunities like horse riding.

Its also better socially for kids to mix - the PHAB clubs understood this very well - they aimed to go for a mix of abilities.

My son was awarded a Direct Payment a few years ago for a support worker to take him out - but the social services said that he couldn't go with his (non disabled) friends or siblings unless another adult went along to supervise. Well, if I take the boys out, I can manage perfectly happily on my own, so this isnt about care needs, its just a stupid rule. And what kid wants to go to a match without his mates? In the end we never took it up for that reason. Recently though we have got on the "In Control" pilot and that seems to be a lot more flexible.

I think the lottery. local government and other grant awarding bodies should be made more aware of this problem - and funders should always aim to encourage a mixed and inclusive activities.

The only personal discrimination I have experienced is by carers projects themselves, some of which fail to meet the needs of working carers, younger carers, or men - I call them the "old biddy" brigade. They don't represent me, but they claim to. Once again, I blame the funders.
Matt, I suggest you contact the network: lots of examples there, no doubt!
I require surgery (again) for a prolapse and a hernia but the surgeon says its not worthwhile doing it while I am a carer as they will just come back again - similarly with my husband who requires surgery for a hernia (again) as well.

Our problems have been caused because f our caring duties and we can't get them fixed for the same reason.


I haven't been registered with a GP for approx 9 years - because the surgeries around here only take on patients if they show up first thing in the morning, and my caree is neither mobile nor safe to leave on his own before noon.
For us, the NHS, Gp, Town council workers , staff of public places etc have always been very kind , helpful and understanding to me and my daughter.
Its the gen public that need educating in disability discrimination,
Last year, I paid well over £300.00 for me and my daughter to go to her favorite pop groups gig at a football ground. I paid for corporate tickets to ensure she would be free from rush, hustle and we could have the benefit of the grounds executive lounge, toilets etc.
The staff of the football ground were wonderful, but,
the gen public who were sat near us, complained, wanted us to be moved, even went so far as forcing the stewards to ask us if we would be prepared to move seats because the people sitting next to us felt uncomfortable sitting next to us.
Of course I flatly refused to move.
My daughter enjoyed the concert, I didnt because I kept hearing people say
"they should be in an area of their own", they shouldnt be allowed to mix with us", and it kept on all the time.
Fortunately my daughter didnt hear any of this because she was so happy to be there.
My heart was broken all night. It was the happy smile on my daughters face that kept me from loosing my temper.
At the end of the concert the people sitting next to me couldnt resist saying,
"we hope you enjoyed the concert, we didnt , next time get seats where you belong and not with us ordinary people".
Then, we waited for everyone else to leave and we were surrounded by security staff who wanted to escort us off the premises. My daughter needed the bathroom, she was escorted to the lower level and 6 security staff waited outside the disbled toilet till we came out, then escorted us out to the car park.
What did my daughter do to spark all this off?
Just she wanted to be like everybody else and leave her wheelchair at the back of the stand (thats why we paid for corporate tickets)
she sat in the ordinary seat like everyone else, she stood up to sing like everyone else but with me holding her up......
thats what seemed to upset them next to us.
And them behind, and them next to them.
Nobody spoke to us,
nobody wanted to because of the fact my daughter wasnt the expected "posh" corporate ticket holder like them and they didnt like it.
Discrimination isnt in public services to us, we have found public services wonderful and helpful, its the gen public who cant , dont want to know , or care.
The odd individuals sometimes appear to shine forth, like the steward at the concert ground who flatly refused to force us to move because of the prat sitting next to us, he told him that we had paid the same for our seats and had the same right as him to sit in them.
That shut him up but he made my heart break because of his open dislike of a person with a disability sitting next to him.
Thankfully, my daughter still doesnt know what happened there and I will never tell her, she was enthralled and enjoyed the concert so very much.
So, what do I do next time her favorite group appear in concert?
What seats do I book,
Its obvious the gen public dont want their nice times out spoilt by having to sit next to diasabled people who pay the same as them but make them feel uncomfortable.
Discrimination is rife regardless of financial status,
Ive said for years that education regarding teaching people from an early age that disability issues are a normal fact of life is the only way forward to change societies draconian way of thinking that anyone who is remotely "different" to them is not as equal.
thats it in a nutshell.
If Cuk want to change discrimination issues, start in schools, start up a nationwide long lasting disabilility awareness education campaign to teach people that they may have to face sickness, disability etc in life (make disability issues part of the national curriculum, more and more people need care)...
instead of people having to be faced with a bolt out the blue when it happens to them and not know what its all about and wondering why they dont know.
Marie said
to change discrimination issues, start in schools
I know this is an issue that you have mentioned so many times Marie and I agree with you wholeheartdedly.It could cover not just sickness/disability but about the elderly too.How many times do we read wherein the Government are setting up programmes to train the likes of DWP staff and others.Yes at times its needed but they only reach a small fraction of the working force.
Like you have always said,catch them at a younger age.
That is very sad Mairie.

WE once went on a train, where my husband and son with Downs sat at one table for four, and my younger son, daughter and myself sat at another, directly opposite. A "posh"lady and her elderly mother were sitting at the window by my husband and son, and did not stop complaining about our son. They kept saying that our son was kicking the elderly lady. Well, I could see under the table from where I was sitting, and he was nowhere near them. In the end, to have a peaceful trip, my daughter went and sat with her Dad, and my elder son came and sat by us. We had an elderly lady sitting by us too, but she joined in with all our conversation, and had great fun with both boys, and leaning over to my daughter, for the whole journey. I know we should not have done this, that our son should have been able to sit where he chose,but bad manners from others made us come to that decision.