Liberal Democrats seek further support for carers

A recent survey by Carers UK found that four in five unpaid carers were providing more care for relatives during the Covid-19 pandemic and that two thirds were worried about how they might cope with these demands when faced with further lockdowns or local restrictions.

Oldham Liberal Democrat Leader, Councillor Howard Sykes MBE, has written to the Mayor of Greater Manchester and to the Leader of Oldham Council with two requests to improve the rights of carers in Greater Manchester and to make life for local working carers a little easier.

Councillor Sykes has written to the Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham asking him to make the Greater Manchester Care Leavers’ Travel Offer open to young adult carers. Commenting he said: “I have asked Mayor Burnham to make this available to young adult carers, aged 18 – 21, as well as care leavers. This would entitle them to free bus travel across Greater Manchester. Bus fares incurred in activities related to caring, such as shopping and collecting a prescription, can represent a significant and unreasonable burden on the limited finances of a young adult carer.”

Howard Sykes

Councillor Sykes has also written to the Leader of Oldham Council, Councillor Sean Fielding, suggesting the wording of the Council’s Fair Employment Charter be changed to encourage responsible local businesses to commit to supporting carers who are in their employ to successfully combine their caring responsibilities with work.

Explaining why, Councillor Sykes added: “The Leader of the Liberal Democrats, Sir Ed Davey MP, wants to see carers provided with legal protection against discrimination in the workplace under the Equalities Act 2010, something I am also very keen to see happen. Whilst we cannot make this legislative change at Oldham Council, we can ask our responsible local employers to voluntarily commit themselves not to discriminate against carers when they sign up to our Fair Employment Charter.”

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