CarersUK call for paid leave for carers

They want five to ten days of paid leave and more flexibility from bosses

Carers UK has called for changing working practices so that people don’t have to quit their jobs to care for elderly loved ones.

The NGO’s research shows the scale of the problem with more than 600 people leaving their jobs every day to care.

Around six million people, more than the population of Scotland, have quit their job to care.

On top of this, five million people juggle a paid job with caring – far more than previously thought.

Most carers are between 45 and 64. Carers UK said that employers should be keen to adapt to allow these experienced workers to stay in the workforce.

They called for five to ten days of paid carers leave and for employers to be more flexible.

Helen Walker, Chief Executive of Carers UK, said:

“Better workplace support for people juggling paid work with caring for a loved one is becoming an increasingly important issue, with a growing need for employers to improve flexibility and, with an ageing population, support people to keep working for longer, contributing to better productivity.

“With 15% of the population now working and caring, there is a real social and economic imperative for UK businesses to adopt carer friendly workplaces. Carers UK is urging the Government to improve rights for people juggling work and care by introducing a new right of five to 10 days of paid care leave.

“Adequate care and support services are also a key condition for many people’s employment so it’s more important than ever that the Government’s forthcoming social care proposals deliver the high quality and affordable care services we need now and in the future.”

A spokesperson for Dementia UK added:

‘In order to mitigate against a workforce crisis as well as a wider societal one, we need to support the millions of people juggling jobs with caring responsibilities right now. We can no longer afford to have further delays to the desperately needed social care Green Paper, or for the complex needs of this silent generation of carers to be kicked into the long grass yet again.

‘We have come such a long way to opening up conversations around mental health in the workplace. This should be used as a basis to start conversations around myriad other complex conditions like dementia.

‘At Dementia UK we want employers and employees to have access to our Admiral Nurse Dementia Helpline and clinics. We’re passionate about removing the stigma around the condition so that people with dementia can continue to lead healthy and productive lives, whether inside or outside of work.’

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