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Managing paid work and caring

If you're juggling work with looking after someone, you're not alone – there are five million working carers in the UK.

This section takes you through your rights at work, including flexible working, taking time off and protection from discrimination. It also explores what to consider when thinking about leaving or returning to work, as well as ways to boost your skills.

New laws passed to support working carers

The Carer's Leave Act

The Carer’s Leave Act has now received Royal Assent and will become law. The law could come into force at the earliest in April 2024, though the date has not yet been confirmed.

This new Act will give unpaid carers balancing unpaid care with paid employment the legal right to five days of unpaid carer’s leave. The details of how these new rights will work in practice will be confirmed later this year and early next year.

Carers UK has led the campaign for the introduction of carer’s leave for decades and we’re delighted to see it become an Act and set to become law.

Find out more in our press release.


The Flexible Working Act

A law has been passed that gives you the right to ask your employer for flexible working from day one of your employment if you live in England, Scotland or Wales. 

  • This could cover changes to your working hours, your times of work, or your place of work. 
  • You will also be able to ask your employer for changes twice a year rather than once a year which is helpful if your caring circumstances change, for example.
  • You will no longer have to make a case about the impact this will have on your employer.
  • Your employer will have to consult you if they don’t think they can make the changes you need. 

When does this come into effect?

The government has said it will come into effect about a year after the law received Royal Assent, which was on 20 July 2023. Read more

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Flexible working resources

This guide, supported by Barclays LifeSkills, offers helpful information on flexible working for carers.

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