Carers’ rights

The Equality Act 2010 protects those caring for someone who is older or disabled from discrimination or harassment at work, when shopping, or receiving services and when using facilities like public transport, because of their caring responsibilities. This is because they are associated with someone who is protected by law because of the age or disability.

The Council is committed to promoting equality irrespective of peoples caring responsibilities and valuing the contribution made by all citizens. For more information on carers in Hackney, see the Hackney profile.

Examples of disadvantage and discrimination faced by carers

The economic value of carers’ unpaid services totalled £119bn in 2011, more than the annual cost of all aspects of the NHS. The following statistics from a study by Carers UK and the University of Leeds in 2015, illustrate the extent and nature of disadvantage faced by carers in the UK.

  • according to the 2011 Census, there are 5.8 million unpaid carers in England and Wales, just over one tenth of the population
  • the number of carers in England and Wales increased by 600,000 between 2001 and 2011, a faster rate of growth than the population overall
  • in 2011 there were 177,918 young carers aged 5-17 in England and Wales with 2,629 carers aged under 24 years in Hackney
  • the majority of carers are women, 58% and men at 42% – almost a quarter of women aged 50-64 provide unpaid care and three in five people in the UK will be carers at some time in their lives
  • according to results from the 2011 Census, people providing unpaid care tend to have more health issues than non-carers. For example, men and women working full time and providing over 50 hours of care a week in England are between 2.4 and 2.7 times more likely to report their health as ‘not good’ compared with those providing no unpaid care
  • people in their 50s who care for someone that they lived with are less likely to stay in work than those with no caring responsibilities, according to a study carried out by the National Institute of Health Research in 2010
  • in Hackney carers are less likely to be in work than non-carers. 62% of working-aged adults with no caring responsibilities were in work compared to 51% of carers
  • carers in Hackney tend to report poorer health than those without caring responsibilities. Some 80% of non-carers said they enjoyed good or very good health, for carers this was 70%, the 2011 Census found

Further information and support

  • our carers pages provide more information about the services and support provided for carers in the borough
  • the Hackney Directory is a useful source of information about services to carers in Hackney, or for health and social care-related services, visit Hackney iCare
  • Carers UK is a charity offering a voice to carers in the UK
  • the Carers Trust offers action, help and advice to carers
Page updated on: 22 January 2020