Millions of employees expected to leave jobs to provide care

New research published by Aviva suggests 2.6 million employees aged 45 and over expect to leave their jobs to care for a family member or partner.

The research claims that 20% of women will likely see their careers cut short to care for a loved one, with 17% of men expected to do the same. Surprisingly, only 6% of employers see carers issues as a significant problem faced by their employees.

Many mid-life employees are opting to take on their relatives’ care duties themselves as a means of minimising care bills, but this decision is coming at the expense of their career.

The article highlights the issues faced by the so-called ‘sandwich generation’, a term for those that may have to care for both care for both younger and older generations. In fact, one in 10 mid-life employees expect to leave work to care for children or grandchildren.

Lindsey Rix, Managing Director at Aviva said:

“At Aviva, we don’t claim to have all the answers, but we feel a responsibility to help. We have introduced a carers’ policy which provides up to 70 hours of additional annual leave for our people with caring responsibilities.

“We have introduced Mid-Life MOTs to provide our people aged 45-60 with targeted guidance on the management of their wealth, work and wellbeing; and we are piloting a partnership with ‘SuperCarers’ to help our people navigate the care landscape.”

Claire Easton, Chief Executive at North Tyneside Carers’ Centre says it’s vital other organisations follow Aviva’s approach:

“Aviva’s research demonstrates to employers that more support systems must be put in place to help unpaid carers to stay in work. It is absolutely crucial that employers consider how to support their staff and allow them to prolong their careers.”

If you are struggling to juggle work and care, North Tyneside Carers’ Centre offers a range of support groups, one-to-one sessions and activities to help support you and the person you care for.