Money Wellness
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calendar icon20 Feb 2024

400,000 people forced to quit work due to caring responsibilities

Nearly 400,000 carers had to leave their jobs to become carers for older or disabled family members in 2021-22, according to the Centre for Social Justice (CSJ).

The think tank commissioned a survey of 1,530 working-age carers that shows 41% are considering quitting work or cutting their hours due to the demands of being a caregiver.

But the survey also highlights 59% of full-time and 69% of part-time workers would return to work or increase their hours if they had access to adequate support.

The report states helping people who look after family members manage their caring duties alongside their work responsibilities could potentially save the UK economy £6bn a year.

It also reveals the broader economic costs to the economy caused by disruption to employment for carers, including lower employee engagement, absenteeism and reduced productivity, is thought to be around £3.5bn a year.

Call for more help

CSJ is calling for more help to allow these caregivers to carry on working, including:

  • delivering ten hours of free home care to those they are looking after
  • providing £2,000 for home adaptations
  • raising the carer’s allowance earnings threshold
  • introducing an extra five days of paid leave for carers in the workplace

It warns that without adequate support, the most vulnerable members of society face increased risks, and state services will be put under additional strain.

Are you struggling?

If you’re a carer who’s struggling, make sure you’re claiming all the help available to you. There are a number of benefits you may be eligible for:

Carer’s allowance

If you spend a lot of time looking after someone with a disability or an illness, you may be able to get carer’s allowance.

Carer’s credit

If you’re not eligible for carer’s allowance, you might be able to get carer’s credit.

Carer premium

If you’re a carer in receipt of a means-tested benefit, you may be entitled to some additional money.

Carer’s assessment

If you’re a carer, you can have an assessment to see what help you might be able to get from your local council to make your life easier.

Grants for carers

If you’re struggling to make ends meet, it might be worthwhile checking to see if you’re eligible for any grants. This is money you won’t ever have to pay back. Check the Turn2Us grants directory to see if you’re eligible to apply for any.

 Find out more about what benefits or grants you can apply for in our carer’s benefits guide.

Avatar of Lydia Bell-Jones

Lydia Bell-Jones

With a background in banking, Lydia has been writing professionally for over five years. She is passionate about helping people improve their personal finances and has a particular interest in the connection between money and mental health.

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