There are 370,000 carers across Wales who provide £8.1 billion worth of care to their friends and family every year. 96% of the care provided in Wales is provided by relatives and friends. Many carers that I meet in Cardiff Central feel locked out of employment opportunities by a lack of flexible working opportunities.
52% of those caring for a person with disabilities are denied requests to work flexibly and 72% of carers would like to work or would work more if they could have flexible working. We need to have more flexibility in workplaces that will benefit both employers and employees. Inflexibility prevents employers from accessing the widest and best range of potential recruits.
And we know that the vast majority of people who are carers, are women. The lack of flexible working adds yet another barrier to women obtaining employment, progressing their careers and earning as much as their male counterparts.
That’s why I have signed the parliamentary motion asking that the Government amend the Equalities Act to give carers the right to request reasonable adjustments for flexible working from their employers.
Early Day Motion 1814
That this House is concerned that, according to a survey by the charity Disability Law Service, 52 per cent of those caring for a disabled person are denied requests for flexible working and that 72 percent of carers would work, or would work more, if they could work flexibly; notes that this is unsurprising given that an employer has no duty to agree to flexible working and, when considering a carer’s request for flexible working under the relevant law, does not even have to act reasonably; further notes that disabled people are entitled to have reasonable adjustments made in their workplace conditions in accordance with the Equality Act 2010 to ensure that they are able to work and can do so effectively; believes that it is not right that under current law a carer can only request flexible working, with no extra rights to flexible working than any other employee; and calls on the Government to introduce a Bill to amend the Equality Act to provide a right to reasonable adjustments for carers.