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This briefing paper is no longer being updated. Up-to-date information on carers’ rights and benefits is available in the Commons Library briefing, Carers (CBP-7756)


This short briefing paper sets out the rights and benefits afforded to carers in law, covering employment rights, protection from discrimination and social security benefits.

It also provides information on carers’ rights to an assessment of need from their local authority, and what needs can be covered by a carer’s assessment, including respite breaks, work, education, training and leisure activities.

Significant changes to carers’ assessments, and to the rights of young carers and parent carers of disabled children, came into force on 1 April 2015. This is as a result of provisions in the Care Act 2014 and the Children and Families Act 2014, details of which are also provided.

As care is a devolved matter, this briefing paper refers to England unless otherwise specified.

Documents to download

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