Blog

Episode Five “The challenges and benefits of supporting family carers in paid employment – A business perspective”

In our fifth episode “The challenges and benefits of supporting family carers in paid employment – A business perspective” Dr. Kara McGann, Ibec’s Head of Social Policy is joined by Dr. Linda Dowling-Hetherington Director – Assurance of Learning, UCD School of Business. As a strong advocate of gender balance, diversity and inclusion within the Irish business community, Kara discusses the importance of retaining and supporting family carers within paid employment and how businesses through policies and supports can help achieve this goal . Ibec’s “Better lives, better business” policy campaign aims to make Ireland a better place to work for all sections of society including family carers. Podcast released on30th of June 2022

“I think employers recognize the value that a healthy work life balance and flexible working can bring to the work place, we know from research we see greater worker engagement, diversity and inclusion, staff retention all being some of the obvious benefits”

Dr. Kara McGann, Head of Social Policy Ibec

CIRCLE Podcast Series at the University of Sheffield

CAREWELL PhD candidate Breda Moloney recently joined members of the Sustainable Care Early Career Researcher network on the Care Matters Podcast from the University of Sheffield to discuss their research and wider care-related issues. Breda, whose PhD focuses on young carers and their perceptions regarding their future careers, was joined by Obert Tawodzera, Camille Allard and Wing Lee Lam. You can listen to the “Young carers, working carers and caring at a distance” episode here

Research Study: An Exploration of the Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Employment for Family Carers

We are carrying out research to learn more about the experiences of family carers who are currently, or were in paid employment in the period prior to the COVID-19 outbreak, while at the same time providing care to a friend or family member due to old age, chronic illness or disability.

We are currently seeking to recruit participants. If you, or anyone you know would like to take part, please get in touch by emailing us at carewellproject@ucd.ie. Please feel free to share the study details with anyone who might be interested.

Submission to the Public Consultation on Flexible Working

As part of Future Jobs Ireland, Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Heather Humphreys TD, and Minister of State David Stanton TD, launched a Public Consultation on Flexible Working to inform the development of a national flexible working policy. The consultation, which concluded in January 2020, sought the views of employees, employers, trade unions and the general public.

The CAREWELL team made a written submission to the public consultation based on the needs of those who are balancing paid employment with the care of someone with a disability, chronic illness or frailty. The team is supportive of the introduction of a policy on flexible working, which would enable family carers in particular to balance work commitments with caregiving responsibilities of a dependent relative at home. You can read the CAREWELL team’s full submission below. 

One-Day Seminar: Supporting Family Carers in the Workplace

With funding from the HRB Conference and Event Sponsorship Scheme, the CAREWELL team will host a stakeholder event on Thursday 5th December this year. This one-day seminar will highlight the importance of supporting family carers in the workplace. Professor Sue Yeandle, Director of CIRCLE, Centre for International Research on Care, Labour and Equalities, University of Sheffield, UK is keynote speaker and will present on ‘Combining Work and Care: An International Perspective‘. A range of stakeholders, including CAREWELL collaborators are invited to the event. Places are limited, so please register here or by emailing carewell@ucd.ie.

Sustainable Care International Conference 2020

The Centre for International Research on Care, Labour and Equalities (CIRCLE), are hosting the Sustainable Care International Conference on 1st-2nd April 2020 in Sheffield, UK. Call for abstracts is now open with more information here

CAREWELL Principal Investigator, Dr Attracta Lafferty, is delighted to be convening on the theme ‘Work, Care and Wellbeing: New Solutions, Ongoing Challenges with Dr Kate Hamblin from the University of Sheffield. Call for abstracts closes 16th September 2019.

Carers UK publish report on ‘Juggling work and unpaid care’

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.