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Carers UK responds to flexible employment Bill introduced by Ed Davey MP

10 June 2020

Sir Ed Davey MP will today introduce a Bill in the House of Commons to give unpaid carers more rights to flexible working, helping them balance employment with caring responsibilities.

The Equality Act 2010 currently requires employers to make ‘reasonable adjustments’ for people with disabilities to help them work, which can include physical adjustments as well as adjustments like a more flexible approach to working. Ed Davey’s Bill today would extend that requirement to include carers who are looking after disabled people.

The introduction of the Bill coincides with the Wednesday in Carers Week, the day the campaign focuses on carers’ employment.

Helen Walker, Chief Executive of Carers UK, said:

“Being able to work flexibly and have reasonable adjustments in place at work can make a world of difference for unpaid carers, helping them not only to stay in work, but also to reduce stress levels and improve their health.

“We know some employers already have some good, carer-inclusive practices in place. But with an increasing number of people juggling work and unpaid care – Carers Week research suggests an additional 2.8 million workers have started caring for loved ones during the pandemic – there needs to be a wholescale culture change and levelling up of rights so that unpaid carers, wherever they work, have the flexibility they need to manage work and unpaid care.

“As we move out of the pandemic it is imperative that the Government and UK employers take action to support the increasing number of carers. We urge the Government to consider this Bill alongside their proposals for care leave which we have welcomed."

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