Carers (Scotland) Act 2016

As a carer you may be concerned about how coronavirus will impact your health, the health of the person you care for and/or your caring role. Lanarkshire Carers Centre has provided some useful information and guidance to help you understand the current situation and the impact this will have on their services. The Scottish Government has also issued advice for unpaid carers on Coronavirus (COVID-19).


The Carers (Scotland) Act 2016 came into force on 1 April 2018. It introduces new legal rights for carers and young carers in Scotland as well as building on existing rights and good practice. 

The legal definition of a carer has changed in Scotland to:

'An individual who provides or intends to provide care for another individual'.

The Act defines the meaning of a carer.

The Act brings about new legal duties for the local authority and the health board:

The Act affords carers legal rights:

  • Right to an Adult Carer Support Plan or Young carers Statement
  • Right to support to meet "eligible needs"
  • The right to be involved in services
  • The right to be involved in the hospital discharge process of the person you care for

You can find out more on the Scottish Government website - Carers Charter or refer to the Carers webpages to get a wide range of information about how the Act translates at local level.

You can also refer to the Glossary to help you understand the terms used.