2.6m quit jobs to nurse loved ones

Daily Express - - News - By Sarah O’Grady

EV­ERY day more than 600 peo­ple are forced out of their jobs be­cause they have to care for el­derly or sick loved ones, ac­cord­ing to re­search.

Some 2.6 mil­lion of Bri­tain’s car­ers have quit work, with 468,000 do­ing so in the past two years alone.

Far more peo­ple are car­ers than pre­vi­ously thought, with al­most five mil­lion work­ers jug­gling paid work with look­ing af­ter some­one – com­pared with 2011 cen­sus fig­ures of three mil­lion.

Skilled

Car­ers UK, the char­ity be­hind the study, says it is “eco­nom­i­cally im­per­a­tive” that UK em­ploy­ers change their at­ti­tudes and help staff with car­ing re­spon­si­bil­i­ties to stay in the work­force.

Em­ploy­ees aged 45 to 64 – gen­er­ally the most skilled and ex­pe­ri­enced work­ers – are most likely to have a car­ing re­spon­si­bil­ity, ac­cord­ing to the study.

He­len Walker, chief ex­ec­u­tive of Car­ers UK, said: “There is a real so­cial and eco­nomic im­per­a­tive for UK busi­nesses to adopt carer-friendly workplaces.

“Car­ers UK is urg­ing the Gov­ern­ment to im­prove rights for peo­ple jug­gling work and care by in­tro­duc­ing a new right of five to 10 days of paid care leave.

“Bet­ter work­place sup­port for peo­ple jug­gling paid work with car­ing for a loved one is be­com­ing an in­creas­ingly im­por­tant is­sue.

“There’s a grow­ing need for em­ploy­ers to im­prove flex­i­bil­ity and – with an age­ing pop­u­la­tion – sup­port peo­ple to keep work­ing for longer, con­tribut­ing to bet­ter

pro­duc­tiv­ity.” Asked what sup­port would be most im­por­tant if com­bin­ing their job with un­paid care, 89 per cent of those sur­veyed said a sup­port­ive man­ager or em­ployer.

A fur­ther 88 per cent said the op­tion to work flex­i­bly, and 80 per cent said five to

10 days’ paid care leave. But although 38 per cent said their em­ployer of­fered flex-ible work­ing hours, only 12 per cent said they ben­e­fited from paid care leave.

A third of peo­ple cur­rently jug­gling work and care said that there were no work­place poli­cies to sup­port car­ers.

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