Caring for carers

Think tank: Fabian Society

Author(s): Eloise Sacares; Andrew Harrop

February 23, 2024

This report from UK think tank the Fabian Society offers policy options for carers’ employment and financial protection.

Carers make a massive contribution to society which all too often goes unrecognised, unsupported and unrewarded. The value of unpaid care has been estimated as almost equivalent to a second NHS, yet 44 per cent of working-age adults who are caring for 35 hours or more a week live in poverty. Public opinion strongly supports improved government support for carers.

In this paper, Eloise Sacares and Andrew Harop offer a number of policy options for consideration following a review of recent proposals to increase protections for carers, which aim to enable carers to sustain their caring role; to help them to combine caring and work; and to secure an adequate standard of living. The policy options we examine bring different kinds of benefits to carers in many different circumstances – for example those currently in work, those who recently worked, and those out of work for many years.