2.6m quit jobs to nurse loved ones
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.
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.