Do you know your rights as a carer?

On April 20, 2023, the Tasmanian Carer Recognition Act 2023 was enacted.

This legislation supports people caring for someone with disability, mental ill health, a chronic or life-limiting condition, alcohol or other drug dependence, or because they are frail or aged. This legislation also formally recognises informal kinship carers within Tasmania.

This act contains a Carer’s Charter, which sets out seven principles:

  • 1

    Carers should be acknowledged as diverse and are to be treated as individuals with their own needs within, and beyond, their roles as carers

  • 2

    Carers should be consulted in relation to the development and evaluation of policies and programs, and the provision of resources, in so far as those policies, programs and resources affect their role as carers

  • 3

    Carers should be empowered to access information and services that are relevant to them in their role as carers

  • 4

    Carers should be supported to participate in, and contribute to, the social, political, economic and cultural life of Tasmania, if they so desire

  • 5

    Carers should be recognised and respected for their valuable caring role and should be supported in accessing, and engaging in, a wide range of services to ensure their well-being and to maintain their connections to their community

  • 6

    Carers’ knowledge about the persons for whom they are caring should be respected, acknowledging that each carer, and each person being cared for, has both rights and responsibilities

  • 7

    Carers should be able to raise concerns about decisions, and services, that affect them as carers or the persons for whom they are caring, without the carers or such persons suffering adverse repercussions, and those concerns should be dealt with as promptly as is reasonably practicable

These principles describe how State Service Agencies should recognise and support carers.

The Commonwealth Carer Recognition Act 2010, also aims to increase recognition and awareness of carers.

Fair Work legislation also includes provisions by which carers are better supported to access flexible working arrangements, and includes information about carer-related leave.

Carers Tasmania continues to advocate for carer inclusion within legislation, policy, programs, and documentation. We specifically seek for carer inclusion within frameworks, so that carers are included and valued through the many stages of a person accessing support.

If you are having trouble with a service provider, government-funded systems or services, a school, your employer, or health service, there is support available. Contact the team at Care2Serve who can assist you with a referral to organisations such as:

  • Advocacy Tasmania

  • Speak Out Advocacy

  • The Association for Children with Disability

  • Legal Services or appropriate complaints mechanisms

  • 1800 422 737