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Carers UK welcomes House of Lords report on the Equality Act

24 March 2016

Today, the House of Lords Equality Act 2010 and Disability Committee has published its report on the Equality Act and its impact on disabled people. The report looks in detail at the impact of the Act on carers and disabled people, recommending new guidance for carers about their rights under the Equality Act. It also asks Government departments work together to ensure carers are better supported by flexible working arrangements in the workplace.

Carers UK Director of Policy Emily Holzhausen OBE, who gave oral evidence to the Committee which is included in the report, said:

“Carers UK welcomes this timely report that demonstrates that much more needs to be done to end discrimination against disabled people and their family and close friends who care for them, unpaid. From difficulty in accessing public transport and sports grounds, to restaurants failing to provide disabled toilets, this report highlights the unacceptable spectrum of challenges faced by disabled people and their carers each and every day.  
While the Equality Act 2010 has strengthened unpaid carers’ rights in relation to discrimination by association, the Committee is right to point out that carers rights under the Act are still poorly understood. We therefore warmly welcome the recommendation to refresh guidance for carers to ensure they are aware of, and can make best use of, their existing rights. Carers UK will continue to promote carers’ rights and we hope to work with The Equality and Human Rights Commission and other bodies to develop any new guidance in the near future.
We also agree with the Committee’s recommendation that Government should encourage employers to respond positively to flexible working requests for carers. Flexible working can be transformational for carers, having a huge impact on their ability to juggle their work and caring roles. This is the second Parliamentary Report just this week that has highlighted the need for more flexible working. We hope this momentum for real change can be built upon in the new cross Government Carers Strategy, currently in development.”

Carers UK’s written evidence to the Committee is available here.

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