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Millions of carers to gain new rights

30 September 2010
Carers UK has welcomed new rights to protect carers from discrimination.

Today (1 October 2010), millions of people caring unpaid for disabled people gained new rights under the Equality Act 2010 which will mean that they cannot be directly discriminated against or harrassed because they are caring for someone who is disabled.

Imelda Redmond CBE, Chief Executive of Carers UK, said, "We often hear of situations where carers have been treated less favourably by employers, overlooked for promotion, or not allowed the flexibility they are legally entitled to in work. Around 3 million people currently juggle work with care and these rights could make a big difference. The employers that we work with through Employers for Carers are already supporting carers better in the workplace and have found real business benefits as a result - saving both money and keeping valuable staff - as well as improving carers' lives.

She added, "Carers UK has fought for and won many rights for carers over the years, but this is a significant step forward that many carers have been waiting for.

The new rights also protect carers where they are provided with a worse service than someone who isn't caring for a disabled person. It also includes protection where carers are discouraged or prevented from using a service because they are caring for a disabled person.

Carers UK will be focussing on the Equality Act 2010 and carers new rights for Carers Rights Day 2010 on Friday 3 December.  

Notes:

1. The public sector duties to promote equality come into force in April 2011.

2. The rights gained by the Equality Act in 2010 are based on a landmark case taken by Carers UK member, Sharon Coleman, who cares for her son who has a serious health condition.

3. Carers UK runs Carers Rights Day every year. This years theme is Know Your Rights and part of it will focus on carers new rights under the Equality Act 2010.

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