Presentation on theme: "Carers, Work, Equality and Human Rights. Carers and Equality Carers Northern Ireland want carers to have the same right as everyone else to an ordinary."— Presentation transcript:
Carers and Equality Carers Northern Ireland want carers to have the same right as everyone else to an ordinary life – a fair level of income, access to support to protect their health and well being, and access to the world of work, leisure and education Carers Northern Ireland want carers to have the same right as everyone else to an ordinary life – a fair level of income, access to support to protect their health and well being, and access to the world of work, leisure and education We seek to empower carers. We want carers to be recognised and involved as key partners in the provision of health and social care services We seek to empower carers. We want carers to be recognised and involved as key partners in the provision of health and social care services
Definition of Carers Carers look after family, partners or friends in need of help because they are ill, frail or have a disability. The care they provide is unpaid
Every year in the UK….. 10,000 people have a stroke 36,000 people are seriously injured in a road accident 27,000 children are born or diagnosed with a serious disability or rare syndrome 220,000 are diagnosed with cancer 2,500 are diagnosed with MS
Carers are not a static group – in NI, around 64,000 people move in and out of caring situations each year 3 out of 5 people will care at some stage in their working lives. The vast majority of carers (80%) are of working age Half of all carers are trying to balance work and care
Who cares in Northern Ireland ? 2001 census figure is 185,000 17.6% of adults in 2004 reported some caring responsibilities Carers unpaid work is worth £3.12 billion 62% of carers are female 38% are male
Impact of Unsupported Caring Income Social Isolation Health and emotional wellbeing
Carers’ Expressed Needs income respite responsive support services recognition Information
Government Response Carers & Direct Payments Act NI (2002) Valuing Carers Caring for Carers (Jan 2006) Employment Relations Order (1999) The Work and Families Act (2006) Section 75, Northern Ireland Act (1998)
Provisions of Carers and Direct Payments Act Right to Information Right to Assessment Services to Carers Direct Payments
Employment Legislation Employment Relations (NI)Order 1999 Work and Families (NI) Order 2006 Associated Regulations: The Flexible Working (Eligibility, Complaints & Remedies) (Amendment) Regulations (NI) 2006
Do Carers Want to Work? 7 out of 10 carers under 50 and 8 out of 10 carers aged 50 – 60 reported being forced to give up work Nearly 80% of carers wished to return to work if they could. “Work offers a life beyond caring – a normal life”
Why Support working carers? Providing support to carers can achieve Lower staff turnover Reduced recruitment & training costs Greater productivity (BT estimate: 21%) Lower absenteeism Higher staff morale More creativity and energy “The cost of recruiting is incomparable to the cost of 2-3 days emergency leave”
Emergency leave Article 10 of the Employment Relations (Northern Ireland) Order 1999 gives employees the right to take (unpaid) time off: –to deal with any unexpected or sudden emergencies which may arise affecting dependants –‘and to make any necessary longer-term arrangements’
Flexible Working From 6 th April 2007, employees who care for a spouse, partner, civil partner, near relative or someone living a the same address have had the right to request flexible working Their employer has a statutory duty to consider their requests, if they have been employed for 26 weeks or more.
Is it working? Carers can still be forced to give up work due to lack of care services or flexibility at work: Attitudes of front-line managers are crucial Carers often face significant barriers in returning to work, and risk long-term financial and social disadvantage.
Barriers and Opportunities Come up with three things that might help or hinder a carer from staying in paid employment that may help or hinder a manager in supporting them
Working Carers - What Helps? Flexible starting and finishing times Compressed working hours Annualised working hours Home-working and tele-working Flexible holidays to fit in with alternative care arrangements Access to a telephone Reserved or nearby car parking spaces Reasonable notice if shift patterns are changing or overtime is required
“Retaining carers through support or special leave arrangements represents a saving to the company of about £1million a year” Large Employer “I’m a believer in give and take. If you are flexible with your employees, they’ll be flexible with you, for example, when extra cover is needed” Small Employer “I personally go the extra mile for them because I appreciate what they’re doing for me” Carer
Section 75 The first legislation in the UK to recognise carers’ vulnerability to social exclusion, and to promote equality of opportunity for carers. It requires public bodies, when developing policies, to promote equality of opportunity between persons with dependants (carers) and persons without Public bodies must consult with carers It does not make discrimination illegal
Human Rights Carers have the same right to rely on the protection of the Human Rights Act as any other citizen under the HRA ‘balancing’ framework, health and social services have to demonstrate they have considered the carer’s rights before making a decision relying on a blanket policy could be open to legal challenge
Carers and Human Rights Right to respect for private & family life (Art 8) –lack of suitable respite, reduction in services –autonomy/decision making – eg re giving up work –Impact on personal relationships –Blanket policies and services - one size does not fit all Right to life/health ( Art 2) –Carers risking own life by putting off operations or vital treatment due to lack of support services –Mental health issues for carers, due to pressures, lack of adequate rest, eg holidays No Inhuman or degrading treatment (Art 3) –Lack of help leading to a breakdown may constitute breach –Impact of lack of support for carer on the cared for person
Whose Rights? Are everyone’s rights routinely considered equally? Paid staff member Disabled or elderly person Carer Other users/clients The wider community Are they considered at all?
Research Findings Carers’ rights not adequately considered Carers’ rights not real (eg carers assessment) Resources inadequate to allow protection of rights Good practice need not be expensive ‘Whose rights are they anyway?:Carers and the Human Rights Act
A way forward? HRA offers a framework for: Balancing rights of carer and cared for (eg older /disabled) person Balancing rights of carers and paid staff. Balancing rights of carer and interests of community, including consideration of resources - if one gets an expensive service, does this reduce funding for/ rights to services for others?
Case study One comment for the floor on your case study One question for the panel arising from the issues raised
Valuing Carers Underlying principles real & equal partners freely chosen life outside caring responsive services investment in carers