What do women need from a Scottish Carer’s Assistance?


In this post, we're sharing Engender's guide to filling out the Scottish Government's consultation on Carer's Assistance. You can also access this information as a PDF document here.

The Scottish Government is consulting with people in Scotland about a Scottish Carer’s Assistance, which will replace Carer’s Allowance in Scotland.

Care is a key issue of women’s equality:

  • Between 60% and 70% of unpaid carers are women.
  • Women are the majority of carers providing over 35 hours of care per week.
  • Women are 2x as likely to give up paid work to provide care, rising to 4 x more likely for ‘sandwich care’.

Engender have produced this guide to help carers respond to this consultation. You can find out about the Scottish Government’s plans for Carer’s Assistance by watching this video from the events Engender held with carers here, or taking a look at the detailed proposals here.

How to respond to the consultation

The consultation can be filled out online here by May 23rd.

The consultation asks a number of questions about specific elements of the Scottish Government’s proposals around Scottish Carer’s Assistance, and also some more general questions. There is no need to answer every question.

  • Question 1 asks about how Scottish Carer’s Assistance should be designed to suit your needs.
  • Question 2 asks about how Scottish Carer’s Assistance should link with other support (for example other social security payments).
  • Questions 3-42 ask about specific aspects of a carer’s assistance, whether you agree or disagree with the proposals, and why/why not.
  • Question 43 gives you space to share any other thoughts you have about the Scottish Carer’s Assistance.
  • Questions 44-48 ask about how the Scottish Carer’s Assistance might impact differently on different groups of people.

What should you say?

It’s really important that as many people as possible with experience of providing care respond to the consultation, and that the Scottish Government recognise that care is an issue of women’s equality. Here are some things, in the bullet points below, to keep in mind when you answer the consultation. Keep in mind that you don’t have to share anything you are not comfortable with.

In the ‘About Me’ section of the consultation, you can choose whether your response is published with a name, without a name, or not published at all. If you select ‘Do Not Publish Response’ it will be treated confidentially. They will still take account of your views for their analysis but will not publish your response, quote anything that you have said or list your name.

  • It’s helpful if you can share information about your circumstances to ‘tell the story’ of you as a carer – it can help people understand what unpaid care looks and feels like.
  • Think about questions like: When did you start caring? Who do you care for? Why did you start caring?
  • If you currently receive Carer’s Allowance, what are the good and bad things about it? You might want to think about things like how much you receive, how flexible it is, whether it is easy to access.
  • How does caring impact on your life – on your ability to access paid work, on your financial circumstances, on your opportunities for fun?
  • Are there any issues that you experience as carer that you feel women experience differently from men? Do you think that caring interacts with other areas of inequality.

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