Essex County Council has launched a new campaign to raise awareness of carers’ rights as hundreds of thousands are estimated to do care work without pay. 

According to the council an estimated 124,000 unpaid carers work across Essex, with the actual number potentially being far higher. 

Unpaid carers look after, help or support someone, who would not be able to manage everyday life without help. 

Some do care work for more than 50 hours per week. 

The campaign was set to highlight unpaid caregivers and their rights at home and in the workplace and was centred around Carers’ Rights Day on November 23, especially for those who do not identify as carers. 

County Hall health and adult social care boss John Spence said: “Unpaid carers carry out an invaluable role. Many see it as their responsibility to support their loved ones, friends and neighbours but don’t realise there is information, guidance and support available for them, and laws that protect them. 

“We want to reach out to all unpaid carers.

"The council understands their role can be very challenging, but carers should never be in a position where their life, dignity or self-respect are put at risk, so it’s vital they know their rights.” 

Deborah Tranter is an unpaid carer for her father in South Woodham Ferrers.

She wants to ensure carers are aware of their rights.

Deborah said: “Working full time and being a carer can be challenging, I stay over at my father’s house three nights a week to care for him. It’s very tiring, but my employer is very understanding.

"They are flexible with working hours; if I have to take time off in the afternoon, I can then make it up in the evening.

"I can also work remotely. If there’s an emergency, I’m able to go and help.” 

“Carers are entitled to support in the workplace. I hope more employees will understand their rights thanks to this campaign.”