2014 Conference Presentation
Introduction: Unpaid care and employment is a key policy issue in England. The government places a high priority on supporting people who provide unpaid care to remain in employment. Policy has until recently emphasised the role of employers in providing flexible working conditions, but there is now a new emphasis on ‘replacement care’ for the cared-for person.
Objective: The objective of the paper is to look at the effectiveness of social care support and services for the cared-for person (‘replacement care’) as a means of supporting unpaid carers to remain in employment in England.
Data and methods: The analysis uses secondary data from the 2009/10 Personal Social Services Survey of Adult Carers in England, a large-scale survey of over 35,000 carers in contact with councils. Multivariate logistic regression analysis is used to examine the association between carers’ employment and receipt of paid services by the cared-for person, controlling for covariates.
Results: The results suggest that there is a positive association between carers’ employment and receipt of paid services by the cared-for person. Where the cared-for person receives services, the carer is more likely to be in employment than if the cared-for person does not receive services, when controlling for other factors that may affect carers’ employment (Odds ratios: women: 1.57 (95% CI 1.34, 1.85), men: 1.69 (95% CI 1.34, 2.12)). Use of home care and help from a personal assistant are associated on their own with carers’ employment, while use of day care and meals on-wheels are associated with women’s employment, and use of short-term breaks are associated with carers’ employment when combined with other services.
Policy implications: The results give support to the hypothesis that services for the cared-for person are effective in supporting carers’ employment. They therefore support the emphasis in English social policy on paid services as a means of supporting working carers.