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Young Adult Carers and Work

As a young adult, you have many options open to you, it may seem impossible to fit a job in around your caring role but with some support and advice is it achievable. All employers have a responsibility to recognise your role as a carer, and they have a legal duty to consider how they can support you. It’s important that you know your rights so that you can get the help and support you are entitled to.

Getting a Job and Planning a Career

Whether you are planning to work straight after leaving school, or after completing further or higher education, as a carer you will not be alone, there are over three million carers in the UK workforce. You may be worried that telling employers about your caring role will limit your chances of finding a job or keeping one, so it is important to know that it is your lawful right to be treated fairly and to have your caring role recognised.

For example, the Work and Families Act 2006 gives carers the right to request flexible working and employers have a duty to consider such requests. This right applies to carers of spouses or adult near relatives who are living at the same address as you as long as you have worked for your employer for a minimum of 26 weeks.
You can also ask your employer to consider any of the following:

  • Flexible starting and finishing times
  • Compressed working hours
  • Annualised working hours
  • Job-sharing or part-time working
  • Home working or tele-working
  • Term-time working

When you are applying for a job or at interview, you might also want to let employers know about what you have learned from your caring role. Caring often involves complex and demanding tasks, as well as values like empathy, responsibility and patience that potential employer’s value.