Rosie Cooper MP added her support to a national campaign on Friday 7th December 2007 which has urged working age carers to seek advice about support they might be able to get to help juggle work and care.
Rosie said: “what many carers might not know is that people looking after disabled or ill people, unpaid, have the right to request flexible working patterns at work.”
All the evidence shows that this can make the difference between staying in employment or leaving. Employers also say that business often benefits from retaining key staff and productivity. Over 90% of requests to work flexibly have been granted by business, but so many carers still don’t know about the new right.
The Carers Rights Day campaign, run by Carers UK, seeks to increase the take-up of benefits and raise awareness of carers’ rights and the support that they might be able to get. It might be new technology in the home, meals on wheels, or council tax discount that makes a difference.
During the day, Rosie supported the Princess Royal Trust, West Lancashire Carers Centre based at Certacs House, Westgate Skelmersdale and managed by Jacqui Sutton as chief development officer and Jim Barton as Chairman.
Rosie added: “It’s a real concern that carers in my constituency may not be getting all the help they are entitled to. Carers need support as they are fulfilling a vital role in society and without them the NHS and social care system would not be able to cope. It is essential that they are given information about their rights so that they get the support they need and do not live in poverty, risking their own life and future prospects”.
There are over six million carers in the UK who provide essential support to family, friends and neighbours, saving the country £87 billion each year. One in five carers has to give up work to care and this advice could make all the difference.