Talking to your employer about your caring role is not always an easy step and you might feel it depends on whether your employer is likely to be supportive. At Gateshead Carers we can help to support you in discussions with your employer by offering an advocacy service and providing your employer with information ensuring that they are aware of their rights and responsibilities to you as a Working Carer.
We know it can be difficult for Working Carers to access support whilst at work so we offer advice to carers via email and telephone. If this is not convinient for you, a member of our working carer support team can arrange to meet you at a time and place that suits your needs, making it easier for you to access support when you need it.
Get your FREE Working Carer app!
As part of our new Working Carer project, funded by the Equalities Office, we are currently offering carers the chance to access our new App pilot scheme called ‘App4Care’, free of charge. App4Care provides a suite of seven easy to use functions, which help carers at work, living away or on holiday stay connected with those they care for.
“I am able to send reminders to my mam when she has hospital appointments and able to keep a closer eye on her with her health now taking a turn for the worse. plus the app lets my mam know when her battery is low and needs to be charged.” Bethany, App4Care user.
App4Care is available for Apple and Android phones, and offers support to both the carer and the cared for. There are seven main applications, which sync automatically on the both the carer and the cared-for phones.
Task list manager – Carers can create, edit and schedule important tasks and reminders for a cared-for person to see and act upon. This is useful for remembering medication, shopping, appointments and leisure activitie
Wellbeing monitor – Carers have the reassurance of knowing that a cared-for person is recording simple wellbeing data each day, collating over time into an important record of that person’s physical and emotional wellbeing.
Panic alert – A panic alarm is available on screens throughout the cared-for app. With an audible alarm, direct calling and auto-generated alerts, the cared-for person is easily able to alert the carer if there is a problem, day or night.
Trip/Fall alert – Should the cared-for person’s app sense a trip or a fall, an audible alarm will sound. After 20 seconds the carer will receive an alert message clarifying whether the cared-for has cancelled the alarm as ‘I’m OK’ or that additional assistance may be required.
GPS Tracker and Alert – Carers often worry that the people they look after will get confused and stray further than they should. Using GPS tracker, carers can view the cared-for person’s whereabouts at any time. Should the cared-for person move outside pre-programmed safe zones, the carer will receive an alert prompting them to check the latest location and provide direct assistance if required.
How to get your App4Care? – We have a limited supply of apps, and will be offering these on a first-come, first-served basis to Working carers only. To register your interest, in the first instance contact Hannah Clemson – Employer Engagement Officer, on Tel: 0191 4900121 email or contact us here. The App4Care is available for Android and iPhones, however iPhones need to have IOS 8 or later installed.
Try our FREE Telecare Support!
Gateshead Carers Working Carers team are providing free Telecare assistance for working carers. If you are working and caring for someone in addition to employment, the Telecare system might help alleviate concerns when you are aware from the person you care for. Telecare provides a pendant or wristband for the cared-for person and an electronic box in their home which signals if anything goes wrong. For example, if the person falls over. They can also press the button if they need assistance. A Telecare centre in Gateshead is immediately called, and the team can talk directly the person to check they are ok.
How to get your Telecare? – As part of the Working Carers project we are offering a limited number of Telecare sets to aid working carers. If you are working carer and would benefit from these, please contact Hannah Clemson – Employer Engagement Officer, on Tel: 0191 4900121 email or contact us here.
Know Your Rights at Work
Did you know that you might have the right to take some time off work, request a change in working hours or get some financial help to enable you to combine work and caring? As a Carer you have legal rights under the following legislation.
The Work and Families Act 2006 – This Act gives employees, who have worked for an employer for at least 26 weeks and who are the carer for an adult, the right to request flexible working.
The Employment Rights Act 1996 as amended by the Employment Relations Act 1999 – Gives an employee the right to take “reasonable” time off to deal with unexpected situations involving a dependant.
The Disability Discrimination Act 1995 – This law relating to discrimination against disabled people should also apply to their parents and carers (European Court of Justice ruling in the Coleman Case).
Carers (Equal Opportunities) Act 2004 – Placed a duty on local authorities making a Carer’s Assessment, to consider whether or not a carer.
Know Where You Stand
As a Working Carer you are likely to need different levels of support at different times of the day, it may help if your employer is aware of your caring role. Read the following points to know where you stand with your employer before making any decisions.
Rights – Colleagues can be very supportive and it may help simply to discuss your situation with someone you can trust at work. You might even find that other colleagues are also carers, and that together you are more able to talk to your employer about ways in which you could be supported.
Time off for dependents – All employees have the right to take a reasonable amount of unpaid time off to deal with emergencies involving someone who depends on them and to make any necessary arrangements.
Parental Leave – You will qualify for this if you have worked for your employer for at least one year and you have legal parental responsibility for a child under five, or a disabled child under 18. You can take up to 13 weeks’ leave for each child or 18 weeks for a disabled child. A maximum of four weeks can be taken in one year for each qualifying child. Parental leave is unpaid unless your contract says otherwise, but if you are on a low income you might get Income Support, always check your employment contract or staff handbook for your employer’s own parental leave scheme, or ask for support from Gateshead Carers Association. They may have extended parental leave to include other workers, for example foster carers, grandparents or employees who have worked there less than a year.
Carers’ Assessment – If you need help in your caring role you can ask your local council for a carer’s assessment. This is to find out your needs – for example, what help you might need to be able to work. You’ll get the chance to discuss issues such as:
- is your caring role affecting your health?
- do you get enough sleep?
- are you worried you may have to give up work?
- do you get enough time to yourself?
Flexible Working – Some employees have a legal right to request a flexible work pattern. This right applies if you or your partner have or expect to have responsibility for a child under 17, a disabled child under 18 or a disabled adult, and you have worked for your employer for at least 26 weeks. The right to request flexible working covers the hours an employee works, the times they are required to work and the place of work, such as home or workplace. Employers have to consider such requests seriously and can only refuse for certain business reasons.
Benefits – If you’re in work, you may be entitled to certain benefits to supplement your wages. These include Child Tax Credit, Working Tax Credit, Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit. Contact our Advice Service to find out if you qualify for any of these benefits.
Download our Working Carer guide
We have produced a Working Carer Guide to help carers understand what rights they have whilst working and caring. Although this is a useful resource we reccommend every carer get in touch so that we can see how best to support their individual needs.
Download our Working Carer A5 Guide
Get in touch…
For further information about your rights as a Carer to discuss any other Carer related issues, please get in touch with our Support Worker for Working Carers. We understand it can be difficult to speak to us in person due to time constraints and hectic lifestyles, so we offer direct support via email and telephone.
If you are working and caring for someone don’t wait until you reach a crisis point in your life, get in touch with us today to see how we can help you… Call 0191 4900121 or contact us here.