- 7 million people juggling work and unpaid care through Covid-19 pandemic
- Continual failure to tackle social care reform now impacting
wider workforce in England
- Carers UK and employers call on Government to take action on social care to help keep jobs and boost the economy
A survey carried out by national charity Carers UK shows employers in England are seeing the health, wellbeing and productivity of their workforces adversely impacted by a shortage of support from social care services.
Two thirds stated that there needs to be more practical assistance from care and support services to ensure their staff with unpaid caring responsibilities are able to stay in work.
Previous research by the charity suggests each day 600 people give up work to care for older or disabled relatives, at an enormous cost to the economy.
With the Government’s furlough scheme scaled back but many care and support services still closed, increasing numbers of working carers are having to consider reducing their hours, or even quitting work to care.
Responding to Carers UK’s survey before the pandemic, 72% of employers said caring and the ageing population will put more pressure on their staff, and 64% believed it may lead to loss of valuable employees if staff give up work to care.
Now during the pandemic, with an additional 2.8 million workers having picked up caring responsibilities in a matter of weeks, employers are receiving an influx of requests for flexible working hours to accommodate caring responsibilities. More conversations are taking place with line managers about family responsibilities because of Covid-19, with some employers choosing to provide carer’s leave and special leave to cope with the current situation.
Two thirds of employers wanted to see services that are available outside of normal working hours and clearer, more accessible public information on how and where working carers and their families can get practical help with caring.
A similar proportion (68%) said recognition of carers by GP and health professionals, as well as timely and ongoing support, was their top priority to help them look after carer health and wellbeing at work.
You can read our full case study and Carers UK’s recommendations for workplaces and social care in their Health and Wellbeing report here.