Working Carers Information and Resources
Many of us provide care to a loved one. You may be caring for a child, friend, neighbour, father, mother or sister. You may be washing and dressing them and feeding them their meals. You may be picking up their food shopping and medications to keep them well. You may be their listening ear and emotional support when they don’t feel themselves. You may or you may not live with the person you care for and it may be that you look after more than one person. Caring can look different for us all.
In Dorset, you are considered a carer if you are ‘a person of any age, who providers unpaid care to a family member or friend who could not manage without this support, due to illness, disability, frailty, mental ill health or substance misuse.’
The latest NHS Staff Survey* says that 1 in 3 staff working in the NHS has a caring role! This is a HUGE percentage and there will be similar picture for those working in social care. You are considered a working carer when you juggle caring responsibilities with paid employment. Everyone who carers for a loved one at home and works in our health or social care system in Dorset is a working carer and this page is for you. We want to make sure you have the right information and support you are entitled to.
Let your GP know you are a carer.
Having it noted on your medical record that you care for someone will enable the staff to look after you in a better way, as caring for someone may affect your own health. You will be entitled to an annual flu vaccination, and most practices offer flexible appointments for you and the person you care for. Practice staff could provide you with information to help you in your caring role and support your involvement in the care of the person you care for with the correct consent in place.
Sign up with your carer support service. CRISP or Carer Support Dorset.
As a carer, you are able to access support from the lead carer support organisation from the council in which your cared-for person lives.
If the person you care for lives in Dorset Council area, contact Carer Support Dorset:
Phone: 0800 368 8349
If the person you care for lives in BCP Council area, contact CRISP:
Phone: 01202 128787
We strongly recommend you sign up with either Carer Support Dorset or CRISP. They have a team of friendly carer advisors at the end of their free phones who can offer you personalised advice and information about anything to do with your caring role. They will offer you details on how to access carers respite and breaks. They can advise you on groups and activities available to you. They can support you to create an emergency plan which offers you peace of mind in the event of an emergency. They will also issue you the Carers Card which acts as Carer ID and also gives you access to multiple discounts in cafes, shops, attractions and with professional services!
Tell your employer you have caring responsibilities
It is your choice whether to tell your employer you have a caring role or not. We do recommend you do because this can then be taken into consideration throughout your employment. Your employer may also have additional support available to employees who carry out a caring role.
Be informed about your rights
Whether you decide to tell your employer or not, you have certain rights by law as a working carer that you should be aware of. You have the right to:
- Request flexible working – employers have a duty to consider such requests
- Time off in emergencies – a working carer has the right to take ‘reasonable’ time off work to deal with emergencies relating to the person they care for
- Parental leave
- Protection from discrimination
Carers UK have an excellent easy read summary document clearly explaining a working carers rights - your-rights-in-work-september-2022.pdf (carersuk.org)