Juggling Work and Unpaid Care

With the world of work, working patterns and structures changing all the time, reflecting both demographic change and rises in State Pension age, Carers UK has started to see an increasingly steep rise in the number of carers, the majority of whom are of working age and a large proportion in work. As this research shows, there is not only a strong moral imperative to support families and friends who provide unpaid care, but also a strong economic imperative, too. The UK economy and the productivity of business and employers, including the public and voluntary sectors, depends on retaining their skilled and knowledgeable staff. Crucially, that increasingly includes employees juggling work with caring.

This report sets out a strong message that many elements of society need to adapt and change in order to support our growing and changing population of unpaid carers. While delivering clear economic benefits for the economy as a whole, as well as for employers and businesses, the gains for communities and families are vast. Supporting carers intersects with many different agendas including gender and disability equality, and age positivity. It helps support pensions provision, improves financial resilience, tackles an element of population health, strengthens family and friends’ networks and, finally, helps combat loneliness and isolation. But to achieve these outcomes, every section of society needs to play its part – from employers, to local and national government, to families and the community.