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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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
- 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
You can read more about ‘Juggling Work and Unpaid Care – A Growing Issue’ report here.