Watch as unpaid carers share challenges of balancing caring with full-time jobs

Watch as three unpaid carers describe the most challenging aspects of balancing care duties with their full-time jobs – including having to use their annual leave to look after those in their care.

A poll of 1,000 unpaid carers, who also hold down a job, found that, between their duties to their loved ones, and their regular day jobs, they are left with just 50 minutes of downtime a day.

They will usually start looking after their friend or family member a couple of hours before starting work for the day, and will continue their care responsibilities after work until 9.30pm.

And 52% say they get absolutely no time off, not even at weekends, as they actively care for their loved one at least five hours a day – as well as getting up at least twice each night to assist those they care for.

As a result, half of those polled feel that being a carer is a full-time job in itself – but a quarter keep their personal situation quiet from their bosses at work, meaning employers continue to pile on the pressure as normal.

Some of the top reasons for this include wanting to keep their work life and home life separate (47%) – and not wanting to be treated differently at work (16%).

However, seven in ten don't know of any provisions for carers within their workplace – no time for compassionate leave, nowhere to go for a bit of a “brain break”, and no pay if they do need to take time off for emergencies.

The research was carried out by hygiene and health company, Essity, which offers its 1,600 employees in the UK and ROI an additional six days paid leave if they are a carer for a friend or family member, on top of their usual allowance of annual leave.

Gareth Lucy, communication director for Essity said: “For so many carers, a steady income is absolutely crucial to being able to provide a decent and consistent level of care.

“Although the government is introducing the new Caring Leave Bill, it only gives carers the right to five days unpaid leave per year. We recognise that carers have enough to worry about, and not being paid shouldn’t be added to the list.”

The study also found that other reasons for choosing to keep their affairs to themselves whilst at work include fears it may affect their chance of a promotion (13%), or that they may be overlooked for key responsibilities (12%).

On a typical day, caring responsibilities will include having a conversation with a loved one and keeping them company (72%), preparing food (67%), and doing laundry (65%).

Other duties include helping them move around the home (39%), bathing or washing them (35%), and helping them use the toilet (29%).

  • Five things you can tell about your health by looking at your hands

But additional time is also needed aside from the day to day for medical appointments (70%), general life admin (56%), managing bills (51%), and transportation (50%).

And carrying on in a professional capacity can be hard, as 45% of those polled, via, spend a lot of time thinking about their caring role when at work.

In fact, six in ten admit they often find themselves unable to complete their days’ work as a result of their caring duties.

Almost half (49%) have had to finish before their contracted hours were up to tend to their loved one, and 42% have used annual leave to fulfil caring duties.

Personal calls during work hours (39%), making excuses to leave work when needed (24%), and calling in sick (14%), are among the ways care work has impacted on the job.

Gareth Lucy added: “Our employees have told us that it’s tough to balance your career with your caring responsibilities.

“Essity’s new policy aims to create equity for those that face additional challenges outside of the workplace – while the launch of our new carers app, Caressa, will provide a simple way for carers to plan and review the care they provide.”

Source: Read Full Article