Carers Rights Day 2023

To mark Carers Rights Day, Carers UK has today released new research which finds that thousands of people are having to leave the workplace due to the stress of juggling paid work alongside unpaid care.

The findings come from our State of Caring 2023 survey, completed by over 11,500 carers, many of whom provide substantial hours of care to disabled, ill, or older relatives and friends. Thank you to those who completed the survey – doing so allows us to speak with authority about issues relating to caring.

Shockingly, 40% of respondents said they have had to give up work completely, with a further 22% reducing their working hours. Nearly half (49%) saw their incomes reduced by over £1,000 per month as a result.

This is not a niche issue – 1 in 7 employees in the UK are providing unpaid care. Far too many have already had to give up work to care due to a lack of understanding and support with their caring responsibilities – and our evidence from carers shows that a failure to act could result in thousands more people giving up work or reducing their hours.

Following our successful campaign earlier this year to secure new workplace rights for unpaid carers through the Carer’s Leave Act 2023 – and the Employment Relations (Flexible Working) Act 2023 – there is an opportunity to support more unpaid carers to stay in work once the legislation comes into force in 2024. However, Government and employers need to work hard to raise awareness of carers’ existing and upcoming rights within the workplace, as well as the benefits of flexible working, so that carers can benefit from the upcoming changes.

However, this is only part of the picture. As we move towards a Westminster general election next year, Carers UK wants all political parties to commit to policies that would support more unpaid carers to juggle work and care as a core part of their manifestos. We believe this should include the introduction of two weeks of paid Carer’s Leave, a longer period of unpaid leave, and a commitment to continue to strengthen flexible working rights.

We will continue to campaign so that all carers who want to can remain in work alongside their caring responsibilities. We are also working hard to make sure that all carers get the support they need from health and care services, and that people are not forced into poverty as a result of a broken social security system.

Each year, Carers UK promotes Carers Rights Day where we’re joined by hundreds of organisations and thousands of individuals raising awareness of caring, helping to identify carers and signposting them to information, advice, and support. You can find out more about Carers Rights Day here.

If you have any questions about the research or how to get involved with Carers Rights Day, please contact

Please tweet your local MP to ensure they are aware Carers Rights Day is taking place and to ask what they are doing to support unpaid carers!

I can tell you now what my MP (Luke Hall, Cons. Thornbury and Yate) is doing support unpaid carers… ABSOLUTELY NOTHING.

I know because I asked him when he held an open-air Surgery in a local shopping centre and then - after two reminders - sent me the written response he had promised. All he did was “toe the party line” and say how wonderful it was that I was providing care for my husband and how the Government appreciated that. He went on to explain how much money had been put into providing Care in this country and that I can claim Carer’s Allowance - he neglected to mention it is only £75 a week as he had looked shocked when I told him that was my only source of income at the time as I was working 24/7 caring for my husband…

Politicians are very eager to make it look like they care and are listening but they so often follow their political masters in Downing Street for fear of being told off by the Party Whips.

My only consolation is that he will soon be having to find himself another job as there is a LOT of disquiet about him locally and I cannot see him holding onto the seat at the next election.


My MP Andrew Bridgen has defected to the Reclaim Party. I would very much doubt he would keep his seat at the next election. Ironically at the Parish Council meeting we chatted to the Labour MP candidate - a retired GP with an interest in Mental Health and the potential Conservative Candidate. Should either of these get elected, I am more than happy to approach them and at least put forward the idea of a Minister for Carers. Probably wont get anywhere but am prepared to give it a go.


There is an IMMEDIATE solution to this problem, that no one is brave enough to tackle.
The 2014 Care Act says everyone can have direct payments, and that it is up to the person needing care to choose who cares for them, INCLUDING FRIENDS AND FAMILY.
I suspect that most unpaid carers are looking after family or friends, but local councils are claiming that their direct payments cannot be used for to pay family members.
The Association of Directors of Social Services say that more should be done by the government in relation to the income of family carers. Oblivious apparently to the fact that their own members are causing the problem of poverty amongst carers!!!

Please, please, can CUK address this issue next.
Help is desperately needed by those whose CANNOT juggle work and caring.


And some have no choice but to give up work to care! We are the ones who bear the brunt of cost cutting and savings by Government.

It would never happen - because WE CARE - but I wonder what the reaction of ANY Government would be if all unpaid Carers withdrew their labour for a whole week. G.P.s, Social Services and A&E would be completely overwhelmed. That would be quite interesting to watch…and would make the point which they will not acknowledge.


We are 21st century slaves.

Joe Green had it right…

Then if we get a Minister for Carers…

The government don’t want Carers to have a voice, there are too many of us! They prefer us downtrodden.

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There is a significant body of MPs and ex-MPs of the less empathic variety who think carers don’t need help and should be glad to do their duty. Ann Widdecombe is one example. But there are individuals in Parliament now who have made similar statements. Although probably worse are those MPs who pledge their support for carers at local events, garnering positive publicity - and then fail to support them in Parliament.

@charlesh47 I think I also heard a soundbite in the news about the belief that people with disabilities/long term health conditions that prevent them from being able to go out to work should ‘do their duty’ and work from home.

It is strange how the rhetoric of ‘doing one’s duty’, ‘taking responsibility’ , ‘doing one’s bit’ targets the most vulnerable and their carers when the government have not quite ‘done their bit’ in helping the economy to grow after the disastrous effects of Brexit, Covid and (prior to that) austerity.


@Janet_1601 You certainly did hear that soundbite. I was so impressed by that display of absolute ignorance. Mind you, theyv’e said this - and given themselves two years to make it happen. By which time either there will be a change of government or a realisation of the impracticalities of it all. I hope. It’s too much to hope that there’ll be an injection of humanity into their thinking.

It’s about time the Govt changed the rhetoric of presenting the ill, disabled and their carers as feckless, work-shy scroungers who are defrauding the state, especially as this line of thought is very quickly picked up and run with in the media, perpetuating the myth.

One can only hope that said proponents of these evil and out of date attitudes are one day on the receiving end of same and find out first-hand what an extremely difficult job carers do, perhaps then things may start to change. I won’t be holding my breath though.


We had some Australian friends stay with us before they went to the Great Dorset Steam Fair, a few years back. They had no idea how I fitted everything in. It’s one thing to be a carer when you are married, young, and fit. Quite another when you are widowed, retired, and disabled yourself.

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The trouble is Chris is that we, as carers, couldn’t withdraw our labour because we love those we care for - and the Government know that.


Yeah we’re stuffed by our Love and Devotion - they are laughing all the way to the bank while we suffer through no fault of our own. Our MP was surprised when I gave hi some facts and he asked when do I get breaks and holidays… I pointed out those are privileges for people who are in PAYE positions like the one he holds… He just doesn’t get it! But then which politicians do?

My last actual overnight break from caring was in 2009. Since then, there’s always been caring involved.

It seems from the media that the Government is preparing the Budget for March and then an Election may be called in May 2024…

If this happens then we need to be prepared to start challenging each and every candidate standing in our locality on their attitude and approach to Carers Rights and Support for Carers.

Perhaps CarersUK can start gearing up with literature and draft letters so we can encourage as many as possible to raise the topic. That way we can make an impact and let them know just how many of us there are and how we MUST get our voices heard - that way they cannot say they didn’t know.


G’s stroke was two years ago today. Since that day I have had no break. I can still remember that first night when he was in hospital and I didn’t know if he would survive or be able to come home as the same person. Seeing him in hospital was heart-breaking - and I am certain everyone on here has been through similar experiences.

There has to be a way to get the message through that we don’t want platitudes or sympathy - we NEED the proper level of support we should be getting to be able to provide care AND care for ourselves - not just “manage” and “struggle through”.

I know I am preaching to the choir but it’s time we mobilised everyone we know to get the point across.

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