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National Carers Week: Usdaw celebrates the contribution of working carers and calls on the Government to provide more support

Date: 07 June 2021 Retail trade union Usdaw is marking National Carers Week (7-13 June 2021) by celebrating the crucial role carers have in families and communities, highlighting the difficulties of juggling work with looking after someone and calling on the Government to do more to support the huge contribution made by 6.5 million carers across the UK.
Paddy Lillis – Usdaw General Secretary says: “We are proud to support National Carers Week, an annual event highlighting the contribution unpaid carers make every day. The vast majority of care in the UK is provided by family and friends, who make up the UK's 6.5 million carers and without their willingness and ability to provide care, local authority social services and the NHS would collapse under the strain.
“This year the campaign is focused on making carers visible and valued. Never has it been more important to recognise the vital role carers play and call for improvements to the support they receive. Over the last year many thousands of working people have stepped in to fill the gap in care caused by the pandemic and thousands more have upped the amount of care they give. The time is right to again put the focus on carers and seek greater support for their role from the Government.
“All too often carers feel life is a pressure cooker of competing demands, with worries about money, time off work, their own health and that of the person they are caring for. The support carers received before the pandemic fell far short of what was needed. Now, with more people than ever providing care, the Government must act to recognise and properly reward their enormous contribution.”
Usdaw is campaigning for the Government to lift the pressure on working carers by:
  • Better enabling carers to balance work and care by introducing a statutory right to ten days paid carers leave for all working carers from day one of employment.
  • Improving protection from discrimination and redundancy for carers by strengthening the law.
  • Improving the rate of Carers Allowance and extending its reach.
  • Introducing a temporary legal right enabling carers to access the furlough scheme. 
Notes for editors:
Usdaw (Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers) is the UK's fifth biggest trade union with over 400,000 members. Membership has increased by more than one-third over the last couple of decades. Most Usdaw members work in the retail sector, but the union also has many members in transport, distribution, food manufacturing, chemicals and other trades.
Usdaw’s ‘Working Carers Know Your Rights’ leaflet: https://www.usdaw.org.uk/CMSPages/GetFile.aspx?guid=f25fe99c-577e-48ed-9612-efc2f31a60b0
For Usdaw press releases visit: http://www.usdaw.org.uk/news and you can follow us on Twitter @UsdawUnion

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