The Work and Pensions Committee has published written evidence submitted to their inquiry on support for carers, which focused on enabling carers to either remain in or enter employment.
All too often, carers are forced to leave employment in order to care for someone in the absence of flexible working practices, funded formal social care provision and readily available home support. The lack of a ‘work-life-care balance’ for carers can, in turn, result in a significant human and financial cost for individuals. To address the needs of carers who wish to remain in or enter employment, steps need to be taken both within the Department for Work and Pensions, across and beyond Government. Employers also have a vitally important role to play in implementing and promoting good practice in the workplace.
A cultural shift is required if we are to improve the ‘work-life-care balance’ of unpaid carers – a group already estimated at 6.5 million people in the UK and growing by the day. Care should be approached as an economic driver and opportunity, rather than as an increasingly unaffordable burden on society. At the level of employers, there are signs that a cultural shift has already begun, but there is more to do; many still do not explicitly recognise the needs of carers and offer them bespoke entitlements or realise the business benefits that could be brought about by investing in the retention of valuable staff members who are also carers.
You can read Future Care Capital’s full submission to the inquiry here. It builds upon our recently published report, Securing the future: planning health and care for every generation, where leaders from the public, private and third sectors were invited to help us explore the future of health and care and includes a contribution from Carers UK.