Luke Clements

Luke Clements is the Cerebra Professor of Law at Leeds University and is a solicitor.

Carers rights: overview

Briefing by Luke Clements ~ updated August 2017. This section needs expanding: for corrections or suggested additions please contact
Carers Wales has an excellent guide to carers’ assessments (click here to access this); and
Cerebra has produced an excellent guide for people caring for disabled children UK (click here to access this).
Carers Wales is also monitoring the effectiveness of the Act’s implementation through its ‘Track the Act’ programme – for details of this click here.


The 2014 Act represents a radical improvement in the legal rights of carers to social care support.  Carers have a right be assessed without having to ask and they do not have to be providing regular or substantial care for the person in need.   The right to be assessed is however only available (in general) to people who are not being paid to provide the care in question.   The rights of carers covers carers of all ages and is irrespective of the characteristics of the person in need (ie it covers adult carers, young carers, parent carers and so on).

The right to an assessment is a right to a full assessment (including a consideration of the carer’s eligibility for support) and is not the same as a ‘What Matters Conversation’.[1]

Since carers now have very similar rights to social care and support, to that of disabled people – the overview of the social care law in Wales general briefing on the 2014 Act provides detail on these rights (including the rights of parent carers and young carers) and the sections on Assessments & Eligibility Criteria, Care Planning and Direct Payments are perhaps of particular relevance.

[1] See A James ‘What matters to Carers? Is a ‘What Matters’ conversation an assessment?’ in Rhydian (2017) v1 p1.