Norfolk County Council urged to set up carers’ rights commission

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Norfolk County Council is aiming to combat problems encountered by carers who balance their caring responsibilities with work and education.

In a report, the council says it has recognised carers “can face difficulties with their employers, young carers in their education and all carers potentially risk becoming more isolated because they cannot take advantage of social activities because of their caring responsibilities”.

In order to overcome these issues, the council aims to produce a Carers Charter, which includes recommended standards for employers, educational establishments and community organisations.

The report, which was proposed by Mike Sands and seconded by Julie Brociek-Coulton, reads: “Norfolk County Council believes carers deserve a fair deal. To help combat these three problems council agrees to a cross party commission with representatives of appropriate interests, including carers, to produce a Carers Charter with recommended standards for employers, educational establishments and community organisations.”

They say these standards could include, but are not restricted to, providing carer friendly practices that employers can adopt to enable their employees, who have caring responsibilities, to work more flexibly, as well as educating schools who have students with caring responsibilities to ensure their participation in school is not adversely affected.

They also suggest introducing “support that the county council can offer or be part of to support community organisations in providing respite and social activities for carers whose activities may be restricted by caring responsibilities.”

Norfolk County Council has agreed to establish the commission no later than December, with a target to deliver a report by June next year.