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Whether you are juggling work and caring, or looking to build your skills to return to work, there is support available. As a working carer, you should be aware of your employment rights, including your right to request flexible working. There are also resources available that can help develop your skills as a carer, including practical skills, such as first aid or managing difficult conversations.

Employment rights

Working and caring can often feel like holding down two jobs, but there is support available and as a carer you do have rights.

Flexible working

Flexible working means changing your pattern of working to better fit around your caring responsibilities. The law gives everyone the right to request flexible working from their employer, although it is not guaranteed that they will receive this.

Other rights at work

Requesting flexible working isn’t the only right you have as a carer at work. Other employment rights can also work in your favour, including the right to unpaid time off, the right to parental leave and the right to protection from discrimination.

If you believe you’ve suffered discrimination at work because of your caring responsibilities, get advice straightaway. Contact your union rep or Islington Carers Hub.

Leaving work

If combining work and care is becoming impractical, there are many factors to weigh up when making a decision about leaving work, for example, there might be ways in which your workplace can make working more flexible or perhaps you could work part-time. However, if you are thinking of leaving work, or reducing your hours, Islington Carers Hub can provide guidance on what benefits you can claim and connect you to further benefits support.

Contact Islington Carers Hub.

Skills for caring

There are resources or training courses that can help you in your caring role. These could be specific skills, such as taking a first-aid course or improving your computer skills.

If your caring role includes using equipment, lifting or handling the person you’re caring for, or specific medical techniques, you should be shown how to do these by a health professional. This should also be addressed during assessments for both yourself as a carer and the person you look after.

Islington Carers Hub can provide guidance about how to develop the skills that you’re looking for. They also have regular first-aid courses and other workshops.

See our Events & News page.

Skills for employment

If you’re caring for somebody full-time, there may come a time when you want or need to return to paid work. It may be because your caring role has ended, because you need the money or it might be for your own wellbeing.

Even if you have been out of the workplace for some time, as a carer, you will have developed many transferable skills for a variety of careers. You might decide to go back to a previous career or retrain for something entirely new.

There are a range of courses available for Islington residents who would like to improve their skills, for example, ESOL (English as a Second Language), Maths, English, digital skills, career-specific courses.  Many courses are free if you’re on a low income / some are free for carers. There are also options for higher education diplomas, practical work-based courses and apprenticeships.

Employment support services can help you with a job search, CV preparation and to succeed at interview!

Islington Carers Hub can help connect you to support to find a career that is right for you, to courses and apprenticeships that can build skills for employability.


Volunteering is a really good way of getting work experience in a new sector and rebuilding your confidence. It can be rewarding and gets you out of the house. It’s also a great way of getting to know new people and building new skills.

Islington Carers Hub can provide guidance to help you find volunteering opportunities.

Contact Islington Carers Hub

For more information or if you have any questions, get in touch with us on 020 7281 3319 or email

Support services

Islington Carers Hub can advise you on a wide range of things, and as part of our support, we will often put you in touch with other services in the borough that provide specialist services.

Skills for caring

  • Centre 404
    : workshops for family carers who would like to learn more about carers’ rights, the rights of the individuals you care for, welfare benefits and planning for the future. Check centre 404 website.

Skills for employment

  • Adult and Community Learning
    : courses for skills to get back to work, including Maths, English, ESOL (English as a Second Language)
  • Capital City College Group
    : including City & Islington College, provides higher education options and apprenticeships.
  • iWork
    : 1-2-1 tailored coaching and mentoring support to help unemployed Islington residents find jobs they want to do
  • Proud to Care
    : find job opportunities across the growing Health and Care Sector
  • SmartWorks
    : provides women with high-quality interview clothing and coaching.
  • Suited and Booted
    : provides men with high-quality interview clothing and coaching.

More information

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