Walking the tightrope: the challenges of combining work and care in later life

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Kate Jopling

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With more and more people providing care for friends and family, the role played by government and employers in supporting longer working lives is becoming more crucial than ever. This report examines the challenges and barriers facing carers aged 50+ as they attempt to juggle their caring responsibilities with work, as well as some of the potential solutions. Through our own research and focus groups, it investigates the stories of 50+ carers, looking at what works – and crucially what’s needed – to improve their employment prospects. And new analysis for this report finds that caring has a statistically significant impact on employment prospects from as little as five hours care provision per week, and that from 10 hours carers suffer significant detriment to their employment prospects, which can lead to significant financial and social disadvantage. We make a series of recommendations to government and employers which we believe will go some way to redressing the difficulties raised, and help improve carers’ ability to remain in work.


Older People, Labour Market, Public Policy and Caregiving