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Research reveals over 135,00 in Wales quit work to care

08 March 2013
Carers Wales: Research reveals over  135,000 in Wales quit work to care
Government and employers must step-up support for families as survey reveals shocking impact of caring on workforce.
A staggering  135,515 adults in Wales have given up work to care for an elderly parent, disabled or seriously ill loved ones, Carers Wales and business forum Employers for Carers (EfC) today reveal.
A Carers UK/YouGov Poll shows 135,515 have quit work and152,186  have reduced working hours to care.
Carers Wales has pointed to the impact on family finances of giving up work or cutting working hours – including the risk of financial hardship and debt and the long-term damage to carers’ careers and pensions. Previous estimates also indicated that the cost to the economy of carers being forced to give up work to care showed had reached £5.3 billion across the UK in lost tax revenues and earnings and additional benefit payments. 
The new polling is published to coincide with the 10th anniversary of Employers for Carers which, chaired by business leaders and supported by charity Carers UK, helps employers to support and retain the 1 in 7 carers in any workplace.
Keith Bowen, Director of Carers Wales said: 
“Caring for ageing parents or a disabled loved one is part and parcel of life, but these figures show that families are still not getting the support they need to enable them to balance work, life and caring. 
As with childcare a generation ago, employers can play a critical role in shifting how we as a society support people with family responsibilities. But support from employers can only go so far, and families need to be able to access reliable, good quality and affordable care and support services to enable them to juggle work and care. Without urgent action from Government to ensure families can access this support, millions more will see their careers and earnings suffer - with long-term personal costs to families and significant costs to business and the UK economy”
New Employers for Carers Chair, Ian Peters, Managing Director of British Gas Residential Energy , said: 
“Employers for Carers has led the way in promoting effective workplace practice to support staff with caring responsibilities. Our core message is that supporting carers in our workforces is not just about being a good employer, it is good for business - improving productivity and reducing workplace stress, reducing staff turnover and recruitment costs, and enabling us to retain the talent and experience of staff who we would otherwise lose. 
However these findings highlight that much more needs to be done to make supporting colleagues who juggle work and care part of normal workplace practice, and ensure that families can access the advice, support and services they need to enable them to combine work and home life.”
Employers for Carers comprises 70 employers and over one million employees. Member organisations range from micro businesses, to SMEs and large employers such as Sainsbury’s, BT Group, British Gas and PricewaterhouseCoopers.
Notes for Editors:
1. Employers for Carers is a growing membership forum of employers committed to working carers, chaired by BT (to be replaced by British Gas from April) and supported by the specialist knowledge of Carers UK. With over 70 member organisations representing over a million employees from the private and public sectors, its key purpose is to provide practical advice and assistance to employers seeking to support and retain the 1 in 7 carers in their workforce. It has longstanding experience of working with employers such as BT, British Gas/Centrica, the Metropolitan Police, PricewaterhouseCoopers and the NHS, to support carers wishing to remain in or return to work.
2. Carers Wales is part of Carers UK - a charity set up to support the millions of people who care for an elderly relative, a sick partner or a disabled family member. Carers UK:
  • supports carers and provides information and advice about caring
  • influences policy through our research based
  • campaigns to make life better for carers.
3 The Carers UK/ YouGov total sample size was 2073 adults – [ 97 of whom were from  Wales]. Fieldwork was undertaken between 1st - 4th February 2013.  The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all UK adults (aged 18+). The adult population in Wales is 2,381,632.
When asked “has caring for an elderly parent or, a seriously ill or disabled loved one (i.e. helping with washing, dressing, eating,  hospital visits, running errands etc.) ever had any impact on your work?” those with caring roles in Wales answered: 
6% gave up work to care for an elderly parent, or an ill or disabled loved one; 6% reduced their working hours to care for an elderly parent, or an ill or disabled loved one; 11% said their work   had been negatively affected by caring for an elderly parent, or an ill or disabled loved one (e.g. stress or tiredness); 6% said other impact. 16% said they had cared for an elderly parent, or an ill or disabled loved one, but their work was not affected.
4 The Carers UK/YouGov poll forms part of the recently launched Carers UK Caring & Family Finances Inquiry.  For more information on the Carers UK Caring & Family Finances Inquiry, please visit
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