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Work-life imbalance: informal care and paid employment

By F. Charmichael, G. Connell, C. Hulme and S. Sheppard

Abstract

In the United Kingdom informal carers are people who look after relatives or friends who need extra support because of age, physical or learning disability or illness. The majority of informal carers are women and female carers also care for longer hours and for longer durations than men. Thus women and older women in particular, shoulder the burden of informal care. We consider the costs of caring in terms of the impact that these kinds of caring responsibilities have on employment. The research is based on the responses of informal carers to a dedicated questionnaire and in-depth interviews with a smaller sub-sample of carers. Our results indicate that the duration of a caring episode as well as the hours carers commit to caring impact on their employment participation. In addition carers’ employment is affected by financial considerations, the needs of the person they care for, carers’ beliefs about the compatibility of informal care and paid work and employers’ willingness to accommodate carers’ needs. Overall, the research confirms that informal carers continue to face difficulties when they try to combine employment and care in spite of recent policy initiatives designed to help them.\u

Publisher: Routledge, Taylor and Francis Group
Year: 2008
OAI identifier: oai:eprints.whiterose.ac.uk:3534

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