The association between informal caregiving and exit from employment among older workers: prospective findings from the UK Household Longitudinal Study

Publication type

Journal Article

Published in

Journals of Gerontology: Series B: Psychological Sciences & Social Sciences


Ewan Carr, Emily T. Murray, Paola Zaninotto, Dorina Cadar, Jenny Head, Stephen Stansfeld and Mai Stafford

Publication date


Objective: This study investigated associations between informal caregiving and exit from paid employment among older workers in the United Kingdom. Method: Information on caregiving and work status for 8,473 older workers (aged 50–75 years) was drawn from five waves of Understanding Society (2009–2014). We used discrete-time survival models to estimate the associations of caring intensity and type on the probability of exiting paid work (from >0 to 0 hours/week) in the following year. Models were stratified by sex and working hours, and adjusted for age, self-rated health, long-standing illness, occupation, and partner’s employment status. Results: No association was found between caregiving intensity and exit from paid work. Full-time employees who provided care within the household (women and men) or cared for a partner/spouse (women only) more likely to stop working, compared to those not providing care. Women who entered a caregiving role (more than 10 hours/week) were between 2.64 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.46, 4.79) and 4.46 (95% CI: 2.53, 7.88) times more likely to exit work (for part-time and full-time workers, respectively), compared to women providing no care. Discussion: This study highlights the onset of caregiving as a key period for older workers. Ensuring that caregiving responsibilities are adequately recognized and supported may help extend working life.

Volume and page numbers

73, 1253-1262





Disability, Older People, Labour Market and Caregiving


Open Access; © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of The Gerontological Society of America.; This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted reuse, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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