44. Supplementary memorandum submitted by Carers UK

 

This memorandum summarises the evidence which indicates what good levels of employment for carers would look like. Whilst each carer's circumstances are different, we would say is that there is overwhelming evidence that there are many carers who are not in paid work who would like to be, and also many who are currently in paid work who are at risk of falling out of work.

 

To summarise, the statistics below show that:

many carers who are currently in work are at risk of falling out of work because of a lack of services and a lack of support at work

many carers who are not currently in work would like to work, but are not able to because of poor services, a lack of flexible working and the benefits trap.

All figures below are from Carers, Employment and Services Report Series, Carers UK/University of Leeds, 2007; Report 2 - Managing Caring and Employment.[1]

 

Carers in work

only about a quarter of working carers felt they had adequate support from formal services to enable them to combine work and care

over a third of working carers had considered giving up work to care

52% of carers working in the private sector said their employer was carer-friendly, compared with 68% in the public sector and 78% in the voluntary sector

of carers working part-time, 50% of those in private sector, 44% in public sector and 54% in voluntary sector said they only worked part time because services were not adequate for them to work full time.

 

Of those carers who were unemployed, or who described themselves a looking after home and family but said they would like to return to work if suitable arrangements could be made to make this possible

more than two thirds of carers outside employment said their caring responsibilities had caused them to leave paid work

more than three quarter of carers outside employment said it was difficult to find a job that fits with their caring responsibilities

more than half said they would rather be in paid work but the services available to them do not make a job possible for them.

 

From NAO report Department for Work and Pensions: Supporting Carers to Care, published 26th February:

 

Almost a quarter of carers who responded to the NAO's survey would like to do more paid work, but do not want to lose their entitlement to Carer's Allowance.

 

Around one in ten of the people eligible for Carer's Allowance (883,000 in May 2008) currently combine paid work with the required hours of caring.

 

March 2009



[1] http://www.carersuk.org/Policyandpractice/Research/CarersEmploymentandServices