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What rights do carers have?

Caring can be all-consuming and it can be difficult to see what support you are legally entitled to as an unpaid carer. This section brings together key guidance and sources of support to help you:

  • recognise what your rights are
  • assert these rights in an effective way
  • take action when your rights and needs, or those of another, are not being met.

Carers’ rights and the support available for carers may differ depending on whether you live in England, Wales, Northern Ireland or Scotland. We indicate when information provided is different across the nations.


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Take a look at our Being Heard guides...  

Tailored to each UK nation, these guides provide a wide range of sources of support. They are designed to help anyone with caring responsibilities understand their rights and gain confidence to assert them with professionals including key decision makers.

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Are care standards living up to expectations? 

Whatever care services you're receiving, it is vital that they provide the quality you would expect to support your loved ones and friends. To find out more, visit our care standards page. 

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Making a complaint 

Sometimes, it feels as though there is no other option but to make a complaint, especially when it involves the welfare of someone close to you. We provide guidance on the best way to go about this. 

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What is the Care Act and how can it help me?

The Care Act is designed to help improve people's wellbeing and independence. Finding out more as a carer is important as it provides a legal basis for your rights.

This can give you extra confidence when requesting certain services such as a carer's assessment for example, which must be provided by a local authority or trust if a carer is seen to have an apparent need.

woman in hospital bed

What can I expect when someone is coming out of hospital?  

It can be a very stressful time when someone close to you has had to go into hospital. If they are looking to come home or leave, it may be that they have new needs and you are considering caring for them for the first time. We have guidance to support you through this.

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Seeking guidance from other carers?  

Our online Carers UK Forum is a great way to hear what other carers think of different ideas or to seek solutions to problems. It also offers the chance for you to 'offload' and get emotional support if your circumstances are becoming particularly tough.

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Your employment rights

Find out about what your rights are and the support you should expect if you are caring whilst also employed.

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Your rights around discrimination

Find out more about protecting yourself from discrimination as a carer.

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