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The UK's social care crisis was a hot topic during this month's general election, serving to highlight the growing number of people who have to juggle work with caring responsibilities. Steve Herbert looks at how employers can support staff who are carers.
I think most would accept that the 2017 general election probably raised more questions than answers with regard to the key political issues of the day.
Yet some of those questions have at least benefited from the increased oxygen of debate, and one such area is the UK’s social care crisis, and by extension the role of working carers.
To avoid confusion, the definition of a working carer is “someone in full or part-time employment, who also provides unpaid support, or looks after a family member, partner or friend who needs help because of their age, physical or mental illness, or disability”.
Given the crisis in social care funding, and of course the increases in life expectancy, it is to be expected that the number of employees who double as unpaid carers is on the increase. Yet the reality of the numbers is frankly rather shocking.
Balancing work with care
Charity Carers UK estimates that more than 3 million people fall into the working carer category at present.
This equates to around one in every nine of the UK working population, and it follows that most organisations will already have some working carers within their employ.
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