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Carers UK response to the Industrial Strategy

27 November 2017

Madeleine Starr, Director of Business Development and Innovation at Carers UK said:

“We are delighted that our evidence has helped inform the Industrial Strategy, and welcome Government’s focus on building a strong economy which works for those living and working against the backdrop of our ageing population.

Government’s firm focus on supporting those juggling work and care, and those returning to work after caring, is needed more than ever. Carers UK estimates that challenges associated with retaining working carers carry a productivity cost of £3.5 billion. We welcome Government’s firm focus on measures to support working carers that can harness older workers’ experience, and a commitment to reviewing flexible working provisions. Through the growing membership of Employers for Carers, a forum offering help to employers to retain the 1 in 9 employees who are caring for a family member, we know that the Industrial Strategy’s emphasis on carer-friendly workplace policies is timely.

We are pleased that the Government has placed such a strong focus on the potential of technology to support independent living and longer working lives. Our research has shown a lack of awareness around the benefits of technology for those caring and yet we have strong evidence that using it improves lives, health and wellbeing and helps people to juggle work and care better. We look forward to working with other stakeholders to ensure that these technologies are widely available and accessible to carers – a win for families, the technology industry, and the wider economy.

The Industrial Strategy’s acknowledgement of the care market is welcome, given the potentially crucial role a fair funding settlement as part of the upcoming social care Green Paper could play in helping families who are caring to stay in paid employment. Just as we know progress around childcare is essential for parents of young children, carers too need a sustainable system for social care in order for Government to deliver the gains it seeks in the Industrial Strategy.”

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