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Caring for Carers: Policy options for carers' employment and financial protections

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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.

This paper offers 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.

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Eloise Sacares

Eloise Sacares is a researcher for the Fabian Society.

@politiceIIe

Andrew Harrop

Andrew Harrop is general secretary of the Fabian Society.

@andrew_harrop

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