Review of support for working carers

Thursday, 17 December 2009

The Government has this week (15 December 2009) announced that there will be a consultation on the support for carers who combine caring with paid work, and it has also announced an increase in the earnings limit for Carer's Allowance.

In the White Paper Building Britain's Recovery, published today by the Department for Work and Pensions, it says: "For people combining paid work with caring responsibilities, we want to provide better support. We will carry out a consultation on how we can help people meet their caring responsibilities while remaining in work. This may include additional unpaid leave for planned responsibilities such as hospital visits and unpaid leave for carers of someone with a terminal illness."

Commenting on this announcement, Caroline Waters, Chair of Employers for Carers and Director of Policy and People for BT Group, said: “Employers for Carers welcomes the announcement of the review of support for carers in employment. We have come together as employers who believe that supporting carers is good for business. We know that helping carers in the workplace is beneficial to the employer as well as to the individual. By working smarter, and offering real opportunities for people to transform the way they work, often by making minor changes in working hours, our members have seen reduced costs and  improved productivity as well as the retention of their most skilled staff at a time they can least afford to lose them.“

Imelda Redmond, Chief Executive at Carers UK, also commented:   "We will work with the Department for Work and Pensions on this consultation, and will encourage them to introduce new rights for carers at work. Many people are forced to give up work prematurely because of the difficulty they have in juggling their caring with paid work, with a terrible impact on their income and pensions. If this review is properly linked with the reform of care and support, we might start to see some improvement in carers' lives. We know that many employers already offer this sort of support, and in fact go beyond it by offering paid leave for carers. We will work with Employers for Carers to ensure that any new proposals work for employers and help them support the carers in their workforce."

Link to white paper: