In a report published in January of this year, research undertaken by Carers UK found that 1 in 7 UK employees are now caring for a close friend or family member (almost 5 million UK workers). The report is based on a representative sample size of 4,254 adults across the UK.
Key findings include:
- More than 600 people quit work every day to care for a family member.
- Approximately 2.6 million have quit their job to care. This is an increase of 12% since 2013.
When workers were asked what supports would be most helpful when juggling work and care:
- 89% said a supportive employer/line manager
- 88% said flexible working
- 89% said additional paid care leave (5-10 days).
When workers were asked about what supports were offered in practice:
- 38% said that their employer had flexible working.
- 12% had additional care leave.
- 33% of people currently balancing work and care said that there were no policies in place to support them.
This research highlights the lack of workplace supports currently in place in the UK and emphasises that balancing work and unpaid care is a growing concern that is set to continue.
“Better workplace support for people juggling paid work with caring for a loved one is becoming an increasingly important issue, with a growing need for employers to improve flexibility and, with an ageing population, support people to keep working for longer, contributing to better productivity.Helen Walker, Chief Executive of Carers UK
In their report, Carers UK urged the UK government to take a lead by implementing carer-friendly policies to ensure that more carers can remain in employment.
Carers UK are currently campaigning for a right to paid care leave of at least 5 to 10 days for all carers in employment.
You can read more about ‘Juggling Work and Unpaid Care – A Growing Issue’ report here.