Carers’ Rights Day 2023
Today (23th November 2023) is Carers Rights Day, and our commitment to strengthening support for carers through Carers Manchester continues with the outlined plans for a Carers Manchester Identity Card to mark this important day.
From April next year Manchester carers will be invited to apply for a Carers Manchester Identity Card to enable prompt recognition across a range of services and access to appropriate support, particularly during an emergency. The pandemic caused several challenging circumstances for carers including isolation, and this new card will provide a more durable form of identification unlocking access to services quickly.
Up to 37,000 citizens provide unpaid care for an adult, relative or friend in the city. Most of these carers are female and the number continues to grow as relationships change and more people take on caring responsibilities that they don’t recognise as caring, and it’s extremely important that support is available for them.
Carers Manchester is the council’s innovative partnership with Manchester’s carers and their voluntary sector support organisations which seek to identify and stand beside carers throughout their caring journey. The Carers Manchester Contact Point is the one stop shop in the city providing a clear pathway to information, advice, and extended support.
In 2024, a Carers Leave Act is expected to be introduced in the spring, with new rights for carers in the workplace allowing them to better combine their caring responsibilities with employment duties. Employers and local businesses can find out how to plan for the introduction of the new Act with more information for employers on Carers Manchester website https://www.carersmanchester.org.uk/
Welcoming the focus on Carers Rights, Councillor Thomas Robinson, Executive Member for Healthy Manchester, and Social Care said:
Councillor Thomas RobinsonExecutive Member for Healthy Manchester
“Early access to advice and information is the key to effective support and I urge anyone who find themselves being drawn into a caring role with a relative or friend, to make early contact with the Carers Manchester Contact Point to review their information, financial or practical support needs, and to establish a connection whereby future support can be quickly mobilised.”
“And next year will be an important year for carers as we launch our Carers Manchester Identity Card which will provide a more robust form of identification, support access to services and provide a gateway to further benefits and discounts alongside a new Carers Leave Act which will give carers who want to combine caring responsibilities with work, more rights.”
Dave Williams Acting Chair of Carers Manchester Network said:
Dave WilliamsCarers Manchester Network, Acting Chair
We welcome the long overdue recognition in The Carers Leave Act which not only recognises the needs of carers but encourages employers to retain the experienced staff who they could lose whilst also making savings from the expensive recruitment costs replacing them would incur. The launch of the Carers Identity card enables carers to have a tangible identification tool which in turn will enable them to access the essential support which they may need and are indeed entitled to.”
Support for Staff
Manchester Local Care Organisation already has a strong commitment to our workforce with caring responsibilities and all staff can ask for support by completing the Carers Passport with your manager. It is important you look after your own wellbeing as a working carer, so do ask for help when you need it.
This is what one member of staff said about the support they received:
“I spent a period of several months caring for and supporting my mother-in-Law who was at the end of life. In addition, I was also providing support to my father-in-Law who is in residential care. This was an extremely difficult and emotional time for myself, and my husband. My managers were incredibly supportive and enabled me to work flexibly in order to fulfill my caring responsibilities.
I was able to work from my mother in law’s house. I was able to change my working patterns and hours in order to accommodate health appointments for both my mother-in-law and father-in-law. I was able to take leave at the last minute if necessary. I had regular check-ins with my managers to ensure I was doing okay and to see if there was anything else which could be put in place to support me. When the time came for my mother-in-law to go into a hospice, I was granted special leave to be able to support her and my husband and spend as much time as possible with her before she passed away.
Having this support in place meant that I was still able to work whilst also supporting my in-laws and husband. Work was often a welcome distraction. The strategies put in place reduced my stress and anxiety during a very traumatic period in my life. I continue to support my father-in-law and these strategies are ongoing for when I need them.”