New Carers UK report on juggling work and care

Dear Carers UK members

This morning Carers UK has published some new research which reveals that 2.6 million people have quit their job to care for a loved one who is older, disabled or seriously ill, with nearly half a million (468,000) leaving their job in the last two years alone - more than 600 people a day.

To read the full report go to:

So far today we’ve had coverage of this story on Radio 4’s Today programme, BBC ‘Breakfast’ and on the front page of the Daily Mirror. Great to have lots of national coverage of the struggles that many carers are facing.


Already posted on the forum , Michael.


And … in context.

Michael, I get really annoyed when there is so much about supporting carers trying to work and care.
Firstly, the fact that CA is only available if you care for one person for at least 35 hours - a job in itself. Then that pay is taken away if you get a second job. Nowhere else does this happen. If we don’t do the caring then SSD pay someone else to do it, at least at the minimum wage, so why don’t we get that too?
I’d love to have had a career. As a mature student I studied for an Honours degree. I was offered the job of managing all the special needs courses at one of the largest 6th form colleges in the country, but couldn’t do it as there was no one to look after my son. In a rural area, there was only a respite family scheme, and 14 families said they could look after M, then rapidly giving up.
Until children with special needs have access to the after school and holiday playschemes available to normal children, parents can’t work.

Not bad … 4 straight from our Lord Kitch … in one hit … and all interlocked !

My compliments BB … a tough one to equal if not surpass ?

Perhaps a fifth … state pension … overlapping " Benefit " … if applicable ?

So far , none of the majors have picked this one up … closest being the Yorkie Post ( Regurgitation )
… the BBC / Daily Mirror remains the only ones.

Daily Mirror ?

I’ve searched but … no joy so far.

Be thankful for small mercies … unleashed on the Daily Chuckle ( Aka Daily Mail ) ???

Comment sections … and blood has just appeared in the water !

I tried to search the Daily Mirror as well when LBC cited it, but didn’t find anything.

For them , not even the usual " 5 minutes of fame " job ?

And , that 5 minutes , didn’t sell even an additional copy ?

Hi Rosemary - here’s the link to the Mirror article

Thanks Michael … POLITICAL section … any still does NOT show up in a search on the site.

Barbara Keeley … supporting us or … Tory bashing using us ?

( Mistress of ceremonies in the last Carers Day debate … cut her teeth with the old PRT … now Carers Trust
… what Sandhurst is to the army … no square bashing for her … nor actual service in the trenches ?

Like speaking for the " Rank and file " and never been outside the Officers’ Mess ? )

Still , nice to see one other major news outlet is running it.

At last , the Guardian have picked this up … and , with a feminist twist :
( Also posted on the main JUGGLING thread. )

**Who’s going to care about the women being forced out of work ?

As hundreds of carers quit the workforce every day, leaving families at breaking point, it’s time to fix the safety net.**


What would drive thousands of people a year out of jobs they love, or need, with no certainty about whether they will ever be able to come back?

If you have parents of a certain age, you might already have guessed the answer.

About 600 people a day are giving up their jobs to look after elderly or sick relatives, the charity Carers UK estimates, a hidden exodus from working life that we don’t discuss nearly enough. Young women are bombarded practically from the cradle with conflicting advice about how to “have it all” as working mothers, yet hear almost nothing about coping as working daughters in an age of unravelling safety nets. (And yes, about 42% of carers are male > > , which means many thousands of men are also toiling unpaid round the clock; but women are statistically more likely to care for parents and men for spouses, meaning men are more likely to care in retirement and women when they are still young enough to be working).
( >
> Thank you , nice to know we exist !!! )

Here is the grim reality behind all that sentimental stuff from Jeremy Hunt, when he was health secretary, about how families should embrace their elders as Asian families do. People who could have managed in their own homes for a little longer with decent help aren’t coping, when all they get is brief daily visits from care workers so rushed off their feet that they barely have time to shove a clingfilmed meal into the fridge for later.

Good childcare is still expensive and hard to find, but an entire infrastructure of nursery places and tax credits has at least grown up over the last 20 years to help. Social care for both adults and children has gone in the other direction, with day centres closing, home help services pared to the bone and care homes struggling to stay afloat.

It’s older people themselves who are bearing the brunt of threadbare social care, obviously, and none more so than the increasing number of people ageing without children. The implicit assumption that families will pick up the pieces when budgets are cut ignores the fact that not everyone has a family, and that some families are infinitely more dysfunctional than others.

But the collapse of social care has serious implications for the next generation, too. Most of us instinctively want to repay the love our parents once gave us, and to be able to spend time with loved ones at the end is a privilege. The blunt truth, however, is that caring can be a lonely, stressful and impoverishing business, especially if you have to give up or cut back on your livelihood to do it. And unlike career breaks for motherhood, caring breaks are open-ended, with no certainty about how long people might be gone – which makes it harder to pick up careers again further down the line.

Wealthier families can at least throw money at the problem, paying for help or building granny annexes in the garden. But those options aren’t open to everyone and so older people are left feeling guilty about asking for help even when they clearly need it, while offspring feel wracked with guilt for not offering. Meanwhile, the sort of meaningful social care reform that might ease this dilemma all round is endlessly kicked into the long grass by politicians scared of the backlash to almost any solution proposed, from tax rises to making people sell their homes to fund it. And Brexit may only make things harder, if it stops EU nationals coming to work in the NHS and social care, as a Department of Health paper last summer pointed out.

Carers UK is sensibly focusing on asking employers to be flexible, allowing people to stay in work for longer while doing the right thing by their families. Working from home, going part-time or being able to take a few days’ leave at short notice can all help.

But this problem can’t be solved by individual families and sympathetic bosses alone and it’s high time the government faced up to its responsibilities, too. There are only so many emergency dashes up the motorway anyone can wangle, when they are also needed somewhere else; only so far families can be stretched before they snap.

A little more for CUK to chew over ???

So Michael
Do you or anyone else at Carers UK have any ideas for our very own Melly who is about to drop the juggling ball through no fault of her own? To enable her to work in a very important job as special needs teacher which has set hours, following cuts to pay for her disabled adults some transport time, she is left struggling to find care for 1 hour a day to cover the time between when she has to leave for work, and the time when his bus arrives. Yet care agencies are busy at that time of day getting all the oldies up. So no care for the son, and she cannot not go to work. Situation impossible.
She needs a resolution by Tuesday when current care agency ceases. Over to you. Help this carer work and care

Make that hundreds , if not low thousands of , " Mellys " out there … all with a similar problem to our Melly’s.

How to juggle working with caring when the support to do so just isn’t there or simply unaffordable ?

In this particular case , an essential job that benefits many … including fellow carers through their carees.

Not scatter gun support , more of the laser beam variety.

An exception case … but not the only one nationwide ???

Thanks for highlighting this issue Mrs Average. Although this is a local issue that we wouldn’t be able to help with directly, I will highlight this to our policy team who put together the report on work and care. With local authority cuts having an impact on individual lives across the country, this situation (of a carer wanting to work but finding it very difficult to do so) may well be being experienced by many others across the UK. For specific advice on her own situation, I’d suggest that Melly contacts


our policy team who put together the report on work and care. >

Policy Team ?

( Akin to a journalist writing a report of a battle 10 / 20 miles from the front line ! )

As a shortcut , just instruct them to read a few threads on this forum ?

To save them time , I’ll post links to each piece of the whole jigsaw puzzle.

Why duplicate what’s already been done ???

( JUGGLING thread as their ground zero : … history before then ?
Last budget ? Parliamentary reports ? Just ask … I’ll post links. )

Don’t lose sight of the UC factor … irregular earnings / juggling work with caring … whole new element !

If they want to know what’s happening in OUR world , ask us !!!


If subsequent policy does NOT reflect all our concerns , what is the point of it in the first place … certainly NOT for our benefit ???

Read … and learn !

Simples ???


Mmm … another candidate for a guest speaker spot on the forum … a member of the policy team.

Would be " Fascinating " to learn how policy is derived … if we are not consulted first ???

( Tail wagging dog ? Or , in our case , given numbers , tail wagging elephant ? )

A " Mummy knows best " one or … a variation thereof.

Whatever … it indirectly affects all 7.8 MILLION of us in CarerLand.

Interesting … and also somewhat disturbing ?

Promise not to mention " Fairer For Carers " unless , of course , they raise it first … and the gloves will then be off !

Time to wheel one out ?

Juggling work with caring ?

Three simple ways to ease the pressure :
**1. Earnings limit … DOUBLE to £ 240 ( Add CA and just about be at the Official Poverty Line ).

  1. CA … a TAPER , not a CLIFF EDGE ( £1 for a £1 ? Where’s there ANY incentive to work longer ??? )

  2. Eligibilty to claim CA … ease or remove.

    Preference ?

1 to be the new norm … 2 + 3 in addition to 1 … if that can be achieved.

( Work to earn more and see a reduction in any other income related benefits needs to be factored in !!! )

Anything else will NOT solve the problem !**

( Shortgage in support services allied to the cost … ancillary to this issue. )

The policy team at CUK are reviewing this.

Be interesting to see what they come up with from their position outside of CarerLand.

WE know what is needed , will they conclude the same ???


If implemented , will decrease the numbers quitting work but … in itself , will NOT stop the trend , nor reverse it !!!

There’s more to " Caring " than just the finances element !!!

Michael, I have juggled work and caring for 19 years but this has got increasingly difficult over the last few years. This isn’t just a local issue. It’s a national one. As the cost of care continues to rise (due to the Living wage and work pensions) and LA care budgets fail to keep up with the rising numbers needing care; personal budgets and DP’s aren’t keeping up with the true cost of care, and care support is being cut. The stock answer is to look for cheaper care. It’s all about budgets and not about real people and their needs. Short visits mean carer workers are often running late and agencies can’t commit to providing care at a set time. DP are no help either: finding someone willing to care for someone with complex autism, for 45 mins X 4 days a week, at that time, for peanuts is impossible. (Parents are taking their children to school, and teaching assistants and support workers are on their way to work.) I can only see this getting worse with another living wage increase in April and no plans for care budgets to increase to accommodate this.

Sadly, I don’t see how the helpline can help sort this National problem.


Childcare is also running into problems … several locals are finding the costs too high in relation to their wages.

In addition , the smaller nurseries are shutting up shop in the poorer areas … case of being squeezed both ends
… in costs , and the income coming in.
( Same problem in reverse … adult daycare centres … find one open and affordable ! … elderly caree with a son /
daughter as the carer … as I was in my time ! )

And , in areas like Worksop , zero hour contracts … a phone call … needed within an hour … with children at home
… alternative maybe to leave a disabled child in the care of his / her 7 / 8 year sibling ?

Don’t take it up ?

Your zero contract won’t last long … recent press reports … Sports Direct / Amazon … the two with most appearances
in the frame.

Nationwide reports on this posted elsewhere on the forum but … as per usual … ties in with the caring / support
aspect running through this thread … headline from just one :


Childcare problems cost families millions new research claims.

Problems finding childcare is costing families £1.2 billion each year in lost earnings, according to new analysis from Save the Children.

The charity estimates that 89,000 mothers of children under five are unable to work because of childcare issues. It says that this represents a total of £3.4 million each day in lost earnings, or between £3,400 and £11,400 per family.

Yet another factor to be factored in ???



Just a tad more.

Assume a carer is juggling work with caring … and claiming BOTH Carers Allowance and income related benefits.

Presently , earns £ 100 per week … now offered more work … earnings to rise to £ 110.

No problem , within the earning limits.

BUT … that additional £ 10 per week … effect on the income related benefits ???

My benefits knowledge is way out of date.

If someone reading this knows the PERCENTAGE loss of earning that £ 10 more , please post it on this thread.

( Eg. Housing Benefit / Council Tax immediately spring to mind ! Effect on caree’s benefits ??? )

Same scenario under Universal Credit ???

Perhaps the CUK Policy Team should liaiase with the CUK Advice Team for the " Correct " answer ???

House report … 2007 … the DWP provided that answer then … is it still roughly the same now ???

It is highly relevant !!!

I’d like to see CUK taking a different stance.
Anyone caring for 35 hours or more should be entitled to CA REGARDLESS of anything else at all. It should be available to anyone who is a carer, including young carers, students, and pensioners. The latest witch hunt against people earning just a few pounds more than the £120 is a disgrace.

Just to record that there is NOTHING on the Carers Trust site on this issue … what a surprise ?

Carers UK … the stage is yours.

( The scriptwriters in CarerLand have produced one of their best for you to perform. )

One for the critics out there to applaud or … closure within a week ?

The choice is YOURS !