Millions leaving work to care for family members

Millions of UK adults are leaving employment or reducing working hours to care for an elderly, disabled or seriously ill family member, according to research from Carers UK and business forum Employers for Carers.

The research found:

  • 2.3 million adults have given up work to become carers
  • three million have reduced their working hours
  • 22 per cent believed their work has been negatively impacted as a result of caring
  • 27 per cent of those aged 45-55 said that caring had caused their work to suffer
  • a £5.3 billion cost to the economy in lost tax revenues and additional benefit payments.

Ian Peters, chairman of Employers for Carers, said: “… these findings highlight that much more needs to be done to make supporting colleagues who juggle work and care part of normal workplace practice, and ensure that families can access the advice, support and services they need to enable them to combine work and home life.”

Heléna Herklots, chief executive of Carers UK, said: “… support from employers can only go so far, and families need to be able to access reliable, good quality and affordable care and support services to enable them to juggle work and care. Without urgent action from Government to ensure families can access this support, millions more will see their careers and earnings suffer – with long-term personal costs to families and significant costs to business and the UK economy.”