Almost 2.7 million Australians care for someone with disability, a medical condition, mental illness or someone who is frail due to age. The recognition of carers is gradually improving. The Qld Carers (Recognition) Act 2008 and the Qld Carers Charter, place obligations on the Qld Government agencies to recognise and value carers and ensure that carers are consulted on policy matters that impact on them.
Many people need to work and carers are no different. It is unlawful to discriminate against a person on the grounds of their caring responsibilities (or perceived caring responsibilities) when applying for jobs, apprenticeships, traineeships or the licence to be able to do a job (e.g. a taxi licence). Indirect discrimination, such as imposing non-essential start and finish times or scheduling meetings outside of business hours, may also be unlawful.
Financial assistance may be available for carers who are unable to work because they have full time caring responsibilities. There are various payments available for carers. Once a carer has reached aged pension age, they may switch to the Aged Pension. Australian Government pension information is available on the Department of Human Services website. Other Commonwealth assistance relevant to carers can also be found there. www.humanservices.gov.au
Centrelink for Carers:
Phone: 13 27 17 or for recorded Information 13 24 68