Carers (Equal Opportunities) Act 2004

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The Carers (Equal Opportunities) Act 2004[1]
Long title An Act to place duties on local authorities and health bodies in respect of carers; and for connected purposes.
Citation 2004 c 15
Territorial extent England and Wales[2]
Royal assent 22 July 2004
Text of statute as originally enacted
Revised text of statute as amended

The Carers (Equal Opportunities) Act 2004 (c 15) is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom aimed at helping carers achieve fair access to training, work and leisure opportunities. It was introduced as a Private Member's Bill by Dr. Hywel Francis and sponsored in the House of Lords by Lord Ashley of Stoke. 5.2 million people in England and Wales identified themselves in the 2001 Census as providing unpaid care to support family members, friends, neighbours or others because of long-term physical or mental ill-health, disability or old age.[3] That represented nearly 10 per cent of the population and of those, 21 per cent (1.09 million) provided care for 50 or more hours per week.

The Act requires assessments to be offered to carers, to consider the needs of carers in relation to leisure, education, training and work. Not all carers will wish to pursue all of these opportunities but practitioners completing assessments with the carer should be able to signpost carers to other relevant agencies.

Section 6 - Short title, commencement and extent[edit]

This section came into force on 22 July 2004.[4]

The following orders have been made under section 6(2):


The Act

  1. places a duty on local authorities to tell carers about their rights,
  2. places a duty on local authorities to consider whether the carer works or wishes to work, wishes to study or have some leisure activities, when they are carrying out a carer's assessment,
  3. gives local authorities strong powers to enlist the help of health, housing and education authorities in providing support for carers.


  1. ^ The citation of this Act by this short title is authorised by section 6(1) of this Act.
  2. ^ The Carers (Equal Opportunities) Act 2004, section 6(7)
  3. ^ SCIE Guide 5 Implementing the Carers (Equal Opportunities) Act 2004
  4. ^ The Interpretation Act 1978, section 4(b)

External links[edit]