2.6 million expect to quit job to provide care

New research from Aviva has shown that more than 2.6 million employees aged 45 and over expect that they will have to leave their jobs in order to care for a relative or partner.

Women in particular (20 per cent) are more likely to see their careers cut short by the need to care for a relative or a partner, but the gap between men and women is closing, with 17 per cent of men set to see their careers curtailed by having to leave work to care for a relative or partner.

While taking on their relatives’ care duties themselves act as a means of minimising care bills, the decision is coming at the expense of their career.

The research also focuses on the ‘sandwich generation’, those aged 45 and over, facing care demands from both ends of the age spectrum. In fact, one in 10 mid-life employees expect they will have to leave work in order to care for children or grandchildren.

Lindsey Rix, managing director at Aviva, said: “The practical, financial and emotional costs of caring for relatives both young and old are forcing many people in mid-life to make increasingly difficult decisions about balancing their commitments. Mid-life is the fastest growing age demographic in the UK workforce, so we can expect these pressures to grow.

“As the UK population ages, the number of carers at work can be expected to grow. It is concerning to see that only a small percentage of employers are prioritising the issue of care. The need to care for carers must rise up our list of priorities.”

Jane Brophy, Liberal Democrat MEP for the North West, said: “These statistics are stark. Adult social care is broken in this country, and it is hard-working people who will pay the price for this neglected and desperately struggling system. The reality of the situation is that Northerners cannot put up with this broken care system any longer.

"Liberal Democrats will revolutionise our adult social care system. We will add a penny on the pound of income tax, to raise £6 billion for our overstretched NHS and social care services. It's time to look after the service which looks after us when we most need it."