News story

New working group to help families juggle work and caring responsibilities

This news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

The group will explore how employers, statutory services and providers can work better together to support carers.

Care Services Minister, Paul Burstow, has announced a new government and employers working group to help give carers the support they need to stay in work alongside their caring responsibilities.

The new joint working group was announced today at the Government and Employers for Carers Summit hosted by Paul Burstow and BT as part of Carers Week.

The group will explore how employers, statutory services and providers can work better together. It will look at how reform and innovation in the social care system, and stimulation of the market in care services, could help provide staff with the support they need.

Speaking at the summit, Paul Burstow, Minister for Care Services, said:

‘As we prepare to publish plans on the future of care for older and disabled people, this summit has kick-started joint action between Government and the business community to work together on helping carers to juggle work and care. Helping families to stay in work alongside caring not only helps carers’ careers and family finances but is crucial for our workforce and economy.’

The summit was attended by business leaders, care providers, care technology developers, local government representatives, and European labour market experts.

Carers UK reported the impact on families’ finances and career prospects of giving up work to care. Employers, including BT, Sainsbury’s and PricewaterhouseCoopers, reported increasing numbers of employees struggling to juggle work with caring for older and disabled relatives.

Helena Herklots, Chief Executive of Carers UK said:

‘Family life is changing and services and workplaces must keep pace. As more and more of us juggle work with childcare and support for older and disabled relatives, we need the services and support to back us up. It is crucial that carers’ organisations, government and employers come together to turn the demographic challenge of rising demand for care into an economic opportunity.’

The Government and Employers for Carers Summit: Supporting Carers to remain in Employment was hosted by Care Services Minister Paul Burstow and Caroline Waters OBE, Director of People and Policy for BT Group and Chair of Employers for Carers.