You can listen to a radio discussion on this latest news here, featuring engage with you's Karl Elliott talking to U105’s presenter, Frank Mitchell.
More than 13 per cent of people aged 40-65 fear losing their job if they take time off work to look after elderly parents, according to new national research for engagewithyou.com.
one in four care for elderly parents
With the social care system is in crisis, and one in four adults (24 per cent) picking up the strain playing a caring role for an elderly parent, only one in five (21 per cent) say their employer would be supportive of their caring role and has an HR policy in place.
When asked what their employer’s attitude would be towards them having time off work to help an ill parent:
- 37 per cent said they would be expected to take time off as holiday;
- 21 per cent believed their employer would expect them to make up the time;
- 16 per cent claimed their employer would not class it as a ‘family matter’ in the same way they would if it was their partner or children
- 13 per cent said their employer would regard it as absenteeism and they would fear losing their job
- 13 per cent claimed their employer would give them time off but it would be frowned upon
- 11 per cent said that their employer would expect them to hire a care helper or put their parents in a home to be looked after by someone else
The pressures were equally felt between men and women and between full and part-time workers, although fear of losing their job as a result of supporting elderly parents was most acute among lower income earners (16 per cent of those earning less than £20,000, compared to 6 per cent earning more than £50,000).
Karl Elliott, Director at engagewithyou.com said: “It is a disgrace in modern society that people who provide support and care for an elderly relative feel additional pressure and perceive potential discrimination in the workplace. The reality of demographic change in modern Britain is that more and more people are supporting elderly relatives and this issue is only going to get bigger.
“In the current employment climate there has been significant attention on the young but those in their 40s and 50s are having to juggle job security with the demands of supporting the extended family. This is a forgotten generation and employers need to wake up when it comes to the realities of individuals supporting an ageing population.”
We talked to the Sunday Express about this, you can read the article here.
Are you a carer in an unsupportive workplace? Maybe your employer is helpful and sympathetic? Join in our discussion.