What is your country currently doing to support carers?
Find out all you need to know about the current state of care in the United Kingdom. Our information covers topics like legislation, working arrangement for carers, respite care, what your country is doing to financially support carers, pension credits and the information and training you have access to.
Unpaid cares are legally defined as people who look after family members, friends, or others because of long-term physical or mental ill health or disability, or care needs related to old age.i
Unpaid carers can request flexible working hours, time off and leave for care, but paid leave appears to be subject to negotiation between employers and employees, rather than a guaranteed right.iii
Various forms of respite care or breaks may be provided after an assessment of the unpaid carer or the person from whom they care is completed.v
The Carers Allowance is the main benefit for unpaid carers in the UK. The unpaid carer must meet specific criteria to qualify and may not be able to receive another financial benefit in addition to the Carers Allowance.ii
Unpaid carers who are pension age will receive a State Pension, but they cannot receive the full amount of both the Carer’s Allowance and the State Pension at the same time.iv A system of pension credits to the State Pension can be claimed by unpaid carers of working aged if they fulfill the entitlement criteria.
Information and training
Carers UK provides training and information to unpaid carers throughout the UK. Local councils provide information and may provide training.
ii Carers UK. (2018). Carer’s Allowance. Page 3. https://www.carersuk.org/images/Factsheets/Carers-Allowance-2018-19-FINAL.pdf [Date Accessed: 16 July 2018]
iii Carers UK. (2016). Your Rights in Work. Page 2-3. http://www.carersuk.org/files/helpandadvice/2613/factsheet-uk1031-your-rights-in-work.pdf [Date Accessed: 16 July 2018]
iv Carers UK. (2018). Carer’s Allowance. Page 10. https://www.carersuk.org/images/Factsheets/Carers-Allowance-2018-19-FINAL.pdf [Date Accessed: 16 July 2018
v National Health Service. (2018). Carers’ breaks and respite care. Page 1. https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/social-care-and-support/breaks-for-carers- respitecare/ [Date Accessed: 16 July 2018]
GL-NONPR-00335 [September 2022]