11 February 2008
Employment rights of carers 'still a big problem'
The employment rights of carers in Britain are still a significant problem, with one in five such people forced to leave work due to a lack of support and flexibility, it has been suggested.
According to Kate Groucutt, senior policy officer for Carers UK, awareness of legal changes concerning the rights of carers to flexible working arrangements is still "fairly low".
She stated: "We'd like [the] government to do more on awareness raising … to encourage people to take up their rights and feel confident in taking up their rights."
Recently, legal secretary Sharon Coleman won the initial stages of a landmark case in which she accused her former employers of "discrimination by association" as they allegedly forced her to leave her job by refusing to grant her flexible working conditions to look after her disabled son.
Figures cited by Carers UK suggest that there are currently 2.5 million carers in the UK, making up an eighth of all employees.