Tag Archives: unpaid carers

Chamberlain’s Carer’s Leave Bill getting widespread support

The Carer’s Leave Bill, a Private Members’ Bill brought forward by Wendy Chamberlain, Scottish Liberal Democrat deputy leader, aims to introduce a new right for employees with caring responsibilities of up to one week of unpaid carer’s leave annually. The bill will receive its second reading on 9 September.

As reported by the Independent and several other media outlets, the right to leave is getting widespread support from MPs, businesses and charities. The bill will give unpaid carers the flexibility to attend routine hospital appointments or help the person they care for recover from a planned operation. There is hope that such flexibility will allow carers to continue at work rather than being forced to give up their jobs.

Posted in News | Also tagged and | 3 Comments

Spring Statement 2022: perspective of an unpaid carer

Yesterday, 23rd March 2022, Rishi Sunak delivered his Spring Statement 2022. It included a 5p cut in fuel duty and a rise in the National Insurance threshold by £3,000. But what caught my eye, on a personal note, was the lack of support for unpaid carers.

I have been looking after my grandfather now for nearly 2 years, in that time receiving £270 a month for my work. Now, I don’t begrudge looking after my grandfather as I want to keep him alive and well for as long as possible; my parents, grandparents and I have always lived in the same house together since I was born, so it’s always felt like having a second set of parents for me.

But something that I can’t ignore is the way this government has consistently ignored unpaid carers. Sunak has so far delivered 3 budgets as Chancellor, with no help or support given to us. The gap between the government’s perception of reality, and reality itself, is widening week-on-week. Amid a cost of living crisis, they think £270 a month is enough to cover rising bills – that’s let not forget, have increased due to their own lack of economic intervention – and then go as far as to expect us to be grateful?

Caring for my grandfather is a privilege, as I know I’m playing an important role in maintaining his health and well-being. But caring comes at a cost; adding to my already fragile mental health through 24/7 worrying, sacrificing 2 years of my life to pick up where this government has failed. And on that very point, this government assumes we only care for loved ones 5 hours a day, as we’re paid for 35 hours a week.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 2 Comments
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