Parents and people with caring responsibilities need better support from government and employers to help them to stay in work, according to research released today by Coram Family and Childcare and UNISON.
Holding on or moving up? Supporting carers and parents in employment is based on polling of over 2,000 workers and in-depth interviews with 40 people with caring responsibilities. It found 65 per cent of British adults said that the government should do more to help carers and parents balance work and care and 65 per cent said employers should do more and that nearly half of British women think they would have to reduce their working hours in order to meet their caring responsibilities, compared to just under a third of men.
The survey also found 20 per cent of women think that they would have to leave their job if they were a carer, compared with 12 per cent of men. Flexible working was on solution supported by many: 82 per cent of respondents said giving parents more control over their hours would help them to balance work and care.
The report makes several recommendations for supporting parents and carers – who represent a third of the UK workforce. They include a call for:
– Employers to adopt best practice around supporting employees with caring responsibilities
– Government to introduce up to 10 days per year of paid carer’s leave
– Government to introduce the right to up to a year of unpaid leave from your job for carers
– Government to support employers to adopt best practice by providing free resources and training
– Government to prioritise understanding and addressing the issues carers and parents face in retaining, entering and progressing in work.