Hundreds forced to quit paid work every day to look after relatives


More than 600 people a day are forced to quit their jobs to care for relatives, campaigners have warned. 

Carers UK says nearly half a million workers have full-time work to look after older and disabled relatives in the last two years.

The number of people leaving has increased by more than 10% in six years, surging to 2.6m.

The charity also says there has been a “dramatic” rise in those juggling their paid job with caring, with one in seven workers trying to balance both.

More than three million people juggle care and work, but many are forced to give up paid work altogether due to the pressure.

Nearly three quarters of carers reported suffering poor mental health as a result of caring.

Carers UK are now calling for the government to introduce a right of five to 10 days of paid care leave, which could save the UK economy billions of pounds each year.

According to campaigners, unplanned absences due to needing to care for relatives costs British companies up to £4.8bn per year.

Helen Walker, chief executive of Carers UK, says there is a “growing need” for employers to be more flexible.

She said: “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.”

Research shows those saying unpaid cared impacted negatively on their jobs has dropped since 2013, but women were more likely to be affected.

The number of adults reducing working hours in order to care has also fallen by a third since 2016, at just over two million compared to nearly three million previously.

(c) Sky News 2019: Hundreds forced to quit paid work every day to look after relatives

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