Social care  

Unpaid carers losing £6,300 income

Unpaid carers losing £6,300 income

Unpaid carers are losing an average income of £6,300 a year according to research from Just Group.

Nearly one in three people (28 cent) aged 45-64 providing informal care for elderly friends or family have had to reduce working hours as a result.

Of these, 10 per cent have had to give up work entirely.

Among carers who have given up work or reduced hours to provide care, 45-54 year olds are losing £109 a week, or £5,656 annually.

Those aged 55-65 are losing £133 a week or £6,911 annually.

Fewer than half of all those surveyed (48 per cent) have been able to carry on work as normal. 

Stephen Lowe, group communications director at Just Group, said a lack of social care reform from the government was to blame for this impact on earnings.

“It is unreasonable to expect people to make plans when they know the government is planning to move the goal posts,” said Lowe. 

“The pandemic must become a catalyst for change rather than an excuse to delay reforms. Many feel that care is too depressing to think about, so it needs to be made clear that the future is going to be more positive.”

The government recently came under criticism from the National Audit Office (NAO) which published a report urging it to bring forward social care reforms.

The report found short-term funding settlements were hampering long-term planning, innovation and investment in care. 

It concluded: “Despite many years of government papers, consultations and reviews, the department [for health and social care] has not yet brought forward a reform plan.

“The Covid-19 pandemic has underlined the need to address some of the long-standing issues, such as limited data; workforce investment; and the visibility of provider finances. However, it has also delayed promised reforms as government prioritises the Covid-19 response.”

Last year, prime minister Boris Johnson admitted reforms could take five years to implement after he pledged in his inaugural speech to tackle social care as a matter of urgency.

Tom Yarker is a freelance reporter for FTAdviser