Carers' rights and legislation

Carers (Scotland) Act 2016

The Carers (Scotland) Act 2016 was implemented on 1st April 2018. The Act consolidates existing rights from other legislation, as well as protecting new rights for carers and young carers in law.

Scotland has an estimated 17% of the adult population and 4% of the population of young people providing unpaid care to relatives and friends. The people they care for are in need of help because they are ill, frail, have a disability, mental illness or have a substance misuse. The value of this support to health and social services is extensive. It is widely recognised that carers are now the largest provider of care in the UK. The care they provide saves the Scottish economy an estimated £10.3billion each year. Unfortunately, the benefits of this support can be detrimental to the carers’ physical and emotional wellbeing.

The Act introduces provisions to improve the health and wellbeing of carers.

These include the:

  • identification of carers’ needs for support through adult carer support plans and young carer statements
  • provision of support to carers based on local eligibility criteria
  • enabling of carer involvement in certain services - eg hospital discharge
  • preparation of Local Carer Strategies
  • the preparation of Short Breaks Services Statements
  • establishment of information and advice services for carers

You can find more information in the full detail of the Act.

Carers (Scotland) Act 2016 briefing

We are producing regular briefings to keep all stakeholders updated on the work we are doing in Aberdeenshire to prepare for the implementation of the Carers (Scotland) Act 2016. Stakeholders are people or groups who have an interest in what we do, and who are affected by our decisions or actions.

View the latest briefing Carers Act Briefing Issue 4 March 2018 (pdf 266KB). Previous editions are available on request by emailing

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