Work & Pensions Committee
Valuing and Supporting Carers
HC 485-I, Fourth Report of Session 2007-08 - Volume I: Report, Together with Formal Minutes
- House of Commons - Work and Pensions Committee
- TSO (The Stationery Office)
This report from the Work and Pensions Committee examines issues surrounding the role of carers in society and what the Government needs to do to support them. It is estimated that the public purse saves £87 billion each year from the unpaid support that carers provide. With the increase in population and better healthcare increasing life expectancy, there will be greater demand on such care and support.
The Committee believes it is essential that carers of working age are able to sustain their ability to remain in work and are provided with help in returning to work. In June 2008 the Government published its new 10-year vision for carers 'Carers at the Heart of 21st Century Families and Communities: A Caring System on Your Side, A Life of Your Own' (download here).
The June 2008 publication set out a number of commitments:
the provision of information and advice;
breaks provision for carers;
improved support from the NHS; and
support to help carers better combine work and care.
The Committee though expresses disappointment that the issue of benefits for carers was not directly addressed in the Carers Strategy and has only been identified as a long term priority from 2011 onwards. The Committee states that the current system of benefits for carers is outdated and recommends the introduction of two distinctive tiers of support for carers, offering:
income replacement support for carers unable to work, or working only part-time; and
compensation for additional costs of caring for all carers intensive caring roles.
The financial pressures on carers arise from additional costs of caring and from reduced working hours, moving into lower paid work, or giving up work. One of the major reasons that carers struggle to remain in work is that there is a lack of affordable, reliable and flexible care services.
Carers often lose touch with the work environment and the Committee believes that where people have been caring for someone over a long period of time, they require a tailored support to re-enter employment, supported by advisers. The Committee believes that a cross-governmental approach is required to ensure that carers are supported in the wider social care system.
The accompanying 'Valuing and Supporting Carers - Volume II: Oral and Written Evidence (HC 485-II)' (ISBN 9780215523495) is available to buy separately, please see below.
|Format||Paperback||Published||29 Aug 2008|
|Availability||Colour copy: 3 - 5 days||Delivery||Delivery options and charges|