Carer Support Wiltshire Logo

What are carers’ rights? 

When you look after someone, you have certain rights that are there to support you as a carer. These rights apply to the workplace, healthcare settings, when interacting with professionals and at home. Knowing what these rights are can help you to feel more confident when dealing with healthcare professionals, can help you to know what to ask for, and can be useful when making a complaint if you feel you have been treated unfairly. 

Find out more about your rights below. 

The Care Act 

The Care Act 2014 sets out certain rights to help carers to continue caring, should they wish to do so, and look after their own health and wellbeing. You have the right to: 

  • Have your views taken into consideration by health and social care services when supporting or treating the person you care for 
  • Have an assessment of your own needs as a carer (either jointly with the person you care for or separately) 
  • Specific advice and information for carers that you can understand 
  • Have your say if you are no longer prepared to care, or are not prepared to do an element of caring 
  • Choose how your ‘eligible needs’ are met – options are: service commissioned by Wiltshire Council or a Direct Payment

Parent carers 

Parent carers have rights as defined by The Children and Families Act 2014. All parent carers of disabled children (including those with a long term health condition) have a right to request an assessment of their own needs.  

The Local Authority must assess parent carer needs if: 

  • It appears to the local authority that a parent carer has support needs OR 
  • They receive a request from a parent carer to assess their support needs 

Under the Care Act 2014, Parent carers also have a right to have their needs assessed to identify what support may be needed once their chid turns 18.  

  • a parent carers’ needs assessment to see if support is needed 
  • ask for support where the local authority hasn’t previously recognised a need 
  • protection of their wellbeing (as defined by the Care Act) 

Parent carers with rights under Children and Families Act should contact the SEND 0-25 service at

For parent carers supporting a child preparing for adulthood, contact Carer Support Wiltshire on 0800 181 4118 or email

Help from your employer 

You don’t have to tell your employer about your caring responsibilities, but if you’re an employee, your employer must offer you certain legal rights. These include: 

  • the right to ask your employer for flexible working if you’ve worked there longer than six months and haven’t made the same request in the last 12 months 
  • the right to a ‘reasonable’ amount of time off in the case of an emergency involving a dependant. This is sometimes known as Compassionate Leave and is unpaid unless your contract states otherwise 
  • if you are looking after a child under 18 you are entitled to up to 18 weeks’ unpaid parental leave per child (this is for all parents and not only those supporting a child with additional support needs). 

Your employer isn’t obliged to offer you more than your legal rights, but some workplaces have policies that might give you more support or time off, for example through applying for a career break. Check with your employer or HR department to find out more. 

ACAS has some useful advice on workplace rights at 

Citizens Advice also has advice on: 

Flexible working – 

Taking time off in emergencies

Protection from discrimination

You’re protected from being discriminated against because of your caring responsibilities. For example, you can’t be refused a promotion at work because you are caring for someone. 

If you think you’ve been treated unfairly because you’re a carer, Citizens Advice has some useful advice –

Help with money

You may be able to get help to increase your income if your caring duties are affecting your finances. Depending on your income, assets and living arrangements, you may be entitled to a reduction in council tax or to claim a benefit such as Carers Allowance. 

The Carers Project at Citizens Advice Wiltshire is available for carers to contact for advice. Phone 01249 474064 or email The phone line is staffed on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, 9am – 3pm. There is an answerphone that you can leave a message on at other times and your message will be responded to on the team’s next working day.

Help for the person you’re caring for

Making sure the person you’re caring for gets all the social care and support they’re entitled to can mean your role as a carer is made easier. The person you care for may be entitled to a care needs assessment from the council. You can contact Wiltshire Council Adult Social Care advice and contact team on 0300 456 0111 or email Depending on the person’s situation they may also be able to: 

  • claim benefits 
  • make arrangements for you to look after their affairs, for example through power of attorney 
  • complain about the social care and support services they’ve received 

How to raise concerns if your rights aren’t being met 

In a hospital setting

Before the person you are caring for leaves hospital they should have a discharge assessment. This is to identify if they need any support once they are discharged. As a carer, you should also be included in any discussions about discharge, providing that the person you care for agrees to it. 

You should also be offered a carers assessment to identify if you need any support once the person you are looking after is discharged. This will be carried out by Carer Support Wiltshire. If this isn’t offered at the time, please contact us directly on 0800 181 4118. 

We have a hospital liaison team that you can contact if you require support while the person you care for is in hospital. They can be contacted by calling 0800 368 7579 or emailing 

Find out more more about hospital stays, discharge and our hospital liaison team at

Useful information

Carers UK have some useful guidance on coming out of hospital –

There is also information on the NHS website –

In an educational setting

Schools and colleges don’t have any legal requirements to support young carers or young adult carers however many do.

Support for young carers in school

Most schools in Wiltshire will offer young carers:

  • A carers lead who they know they can talk to
  • A flexible mobile phone policy/assist you to call home during the day
  • Ways to complete homework during school time
  • Clubs or groups at breakfast, lunchtime or afternoons on a regular basis so you can relax and meet others
  • Access to free after school clubs (most young carers are likely to be eligible for pupil premium)
  • Access to food at school in case you don’t have time for breakfast
  • Access to mental health/counselling

Support for carers in further education

Juggling a caring role with studying can be challenging. To help you with this many universities and colleges have put in measures to support students with caring responsibilities:

  • Academic help –flexible deadlines, help managing your workload, priority access to academic or job opportunities;
  • Financial help – some courses will offer bursaries and other financial support to student carers;
  • Health and wellbeing support – most campuses’ will offer student support services. Some might also offer induction days to help you settle in and give you time to discuss your support needs;
  • Carer Passport – some universities run the Carer Passport scheme. This can help connect up departments and make sure you get the support you need. You can find out more at