NI carers are being left behind, says Alliance representatives, as Carer’s Leave Act sets out extra support for GB

Alliance representatives have warned that due to the ongoing boycott of Stormont, carers in Northern Ireland could miss out on extra support set out in the newly passed Carer’s Leave Act 2023.

Kellie Armstrong Stewart Dickson carers

The Act affords all working carers the opportunity to take additional leave from their paid employment allowance, but at the moment this only applies to those in Great Britain.


Alliance Economy spokesperson Stewart Dickson MLA wrote to the Permanent Secretary for the Economy to ask how the Carer's Leave Act would benefit people in NI who are working carers.


“While the Act relates to the whole of the UK, the response from Department for the Economy is that nothing will be done to implement this vital recognition of working carers here in NI until an Executive is in place,” he said.


“This is yet another blow to thousands of people who are saving our health service billions by providing at home care for a sick or disabled family member or friend, and those holding us back from legislating for them ought to be ashamed.”


Alliance Communities spokesperson Kellie Armstrong MLA added: “Carers are once again being left behind, and it’s totally unacceptable.


“Many working carers are not only in full time employment, but are also then providing caring support for many more hours, every week. Many annual leave days are used to take their loved one to hospital appointments or to provide care when statutory support fails, such as in reduced hours at day centres or the removal of other care services.


“For working carers in NI to miss out on dedicated carer's leave because the DUP are blocking the formation of an Executive is simply unconscionable. It’s beyond time for them to put the interests of the people of Northern Ireland first and get back to work.”