Page updated: 9th January 2017
The Carers (Scotland) Bill was passed by Parliament on the 4th February 2016. The journey of this legislation is described below. You can download a summary of the new legislation here: Briefing (February 2016) NCO Final and the Carers (Scotland) Act 2016, as introduced, can be found here.
The Carers (Scotland) Act 2016 is a key piece of new legislation that promises to ‘promote, defend and extend the rights’ of adult and young carers across Scotland. The Bill (the draft legislation) progressed through parliament between 2015-16 with evidence taken to allow different stakeholders to have their say on what the Bill should contain. This process was completed towards the end of 2015, beginning of 2016 and now the focus moves to drafting regulations and guidance to support the implementation of the Act. The government has recently announced (July 2016) that the Carers (Scotland) 2016 Act will be commenced on the 1st April 2018.
Shared Care Scotland is one of many organisations contributing their knowledge and experience to this process, working closely with the other National Carer Organisations (NCOs). We have also used our respective networks to gather feedback directly from carers so that their voice is heard.
In this section of our website we aim to keep you updated on the progress with the Act and to share with you our evidence submissions and briefings.
Aileen Campbell, Minister for Public Health and Sport – Minister responsible for the Act
The Health and Sport Committee of the Scottish Parliament is the committee that has been tasked with steering the Bill through Parliament.
The Scottish Government is setting up a number of working groups to take forward the development of regulations and guidance. The groups will be made up of different stakeholders, including carers, and will be chaired by Scottish Government officials. Groups will then feed back to the Carers Act Implementation Steering Group. The overall structure of the Implementation Programme can be seen in this diagram below:
A development planning meeting with representatives from many of the working groups was held in Edinburgh on the 23rd November 2016. Slides from this event can be viewed here: – carers-act-implementation_engagement-event. A report of the event can also be downloaded here
Shared Care Scotland is represented on the Short Breaks Working Group, Creating Conditions for Successful Implementation Working Group and the Monitoring & Evaluation Working Group.
Information about the passage of the Carers (Scotland) Bill through Parliament can be found below:
[If you are interested in finding out about how legislation is made, the NCOs have produced a ‘handy guide’. This can be downloaded here: Understanding how law is made – A guide for carers]
You can read the Bill and the accompanying Policy and Financial Memorandum documents here
- Shared Care Scotland evidence to Health and Sport Committee SCS Carers Bill Response (FINAL)
- Shared Care Scotland evidence to Finance Committee SCS Carers Bill Finance Response (v010515) (4)
- National Carer Organisations evidence to Health and Sport Committee CSB052_-_National_Carer_Organisations
- Scottish Parliament Health and Sport Committee Stage 1 Report on the Carers Bill – HSS042015R10
- Scottish Parliament Finance Committee Report on Carers Bill fir15-CarersBill-w
- Scottish Government Response to Health and Sport Committee Report 20151027-SG_Response-Stage1
During the progress of the Bill there are various opportunities for stakeholders to propose any changes they would like to see to make the legislation stronger. These ‘amendments’ are considered by government and may or may not be taken forward. Those proposing the amendments need to provide strong arguments and evidence.
Amendments proposed by National Carer Organisations:
- NCO summary of amendments proposed Joint stage 1 briefing FINAL 301015
- Detailed Short Breaks amendment Carers Bill briefing – short breaks
- Details of other amendment proposed by the NCOs can be found on the Coalition of Carers Scotland here
- Letter and Paper to MSPs relating to concerns about the lack of funding in Bill for Replacement Care SG Carers Bill Funding 151102 (004)
Amendments to be taken forward at Stage 2:
The Health and Sport Committee met in two sessions at the end of November to agree what amendments would be taken forward at Stage 2. This presentation from the Coalition of Carers in Scotland provides a summary of what has been approved. Further amendments may be proposed at Stage 3 and this includes amendments not agreed at Stage 2 where further information has been provided to support the amendment.
Amendments to be taken forward at Stage 3:
- Carers (Scotland) Bill as amended at Stage 2
- Marshalled List of Amendments for Stage 3
- NCO Briefing for Carers (Scotland) Bill Stage 3
Stage 3 Debate – 4th February 2016
The Stage 3 debate for the Carers (Scotland) Bill was held in Parliament on the 4th of February and the Bill was voted through to become an Act of Parliament. This briefing by the Coalition of Carers provides a brief summary of the final amendments made to the Bill and those that were debated, but not passed by the Parliament.
If you have any questions about the Act, please feel free to contact Don Williamson: email@example.com