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Jobs that fit in well with Caring - Carers UK Forum

Jobs that fit in well with Caring

Share your ideas about the practical side of caring.
It is probably quite some time since I wrote about the work I do, and how it fits in perfectly with being the main carer for my son.
For the last five or six years, I have worked for three different market and social research agencies as a Field Interviewer. The job pays quite well, I normally expect to earn around £12,000 a year, part-time, and the expenses keep my car on the road and are not taxable, and do not count as income for carers allowance purposes.

This kind of work suits people who can drive, are good at making a first impression with people, computer-literate, confident, cheerful and self-motivated. On the positive side, we gather vital research data that helps ensure that government decisions are informed by people's real-life situations and experiences. The topics we research include health, family resources and budgets, crime and justice, housing, benefits, broadcasting, and public opinions on political issues like the EU and Scottish Devolution. Yes, and caring too! Fascinating stuff.

The down side is that income is based mainly on results - on a good day I can earn over £200, on a bad day I get my expenses and not much else! But it all averages out in the end, and the earnings relate closely to the hours and effort I put in.

The plus side is that I get paid travel from my home, I work the hours that suit my caring role and the availability of care-support, I can take a three month holiday anytime I want, and I get to meet lots of fascinating people and travel to lots of amazing places.

The other thing that suits me is that the job is perfect for continuing to get paid Carers Allowance, because the expenses don't count as income, I lease my car as a PCP (personal contract purchase) (which counts as work expenses) and I just chuck any surplus earnings into the pension plan to keep my apparent earnings below the dreaded £110 per week limit.

Driving an expensive new electric car is especially advantageous to keep Carers Benefit, because whilst the monthly lease is pricey, it counts as a big cost against my earnings limit: whilst the running costs are really incredibly low - about 2p per mile, so I make a massive profit on my mileage. I've driven 10,200 miles since April, at a cost of 2p per mile in electricity, but I get paid 32p per mile - do the sums, go figure - and I even get a special tax rebate because it is less than the official treasury figure of 45p per mile!

I reckon there must be other, similar, occupations that would offer similar advantages. Whats your tip?

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I know many of you would not entertain the idea and I understand why but I have chosen a busman's holiday which works for me- care worker. I would say it is more relaxing than office life and a none political enviroment so it doesn't add to the stress load. You do feel that you are playing a useful role in society and it helps to keep your own circumstances in perspective and keeps you grounded . The knowledge that other people are in a similar boat etc can be a sort of tonic to dealing with your own situation. Your employer understands the unpredictable needs of caring and can offer a flexible schedule to fit in with care needs at home. There is always more work on offer if you need it and some petrol expenses can be deducted and not counted as earnings.
There are also interesting courses that may prove useful in the home environment .
There are of course many factors that put people off this kind of work which I totally understand but for me it has worked ok for the last couple of years and given me a very flexible work life away from the home. I've also made some lovely friends through the job and added to my social circle.
Good points Henrietta: my sons longest serving PA is a young man who cares for his own Mum, and he is a very good, flexible carer, plus the peer-support he provides to J is a totally different kind of caring to the support he provides for his mum - the boys go out karting, watch movies, and to comic-con events and concerts - so it gives him lots of stimulation and fun.
I pay him the full treasury rate of 45p for his mileage, because I know how much that helps him running his own car, and it is tax free as well.
Not my cup of tea but....Martyn at moneysavingexpert.com has suggestions and advice for making a bit of cash online from surveys, reviews etc at home, if you are housebound.

Hardly a big earner and would contribute to on line addiction lol but sometimes those few quids add up.