The challenges of being a carer in the paid workforce impacts on many aspects of a person's life

Carers in your workplace

Australia's population is ageing. Between now and 2050 the number of older people (65 to 84 years) is expected to more than double; In contrast, the number of children is expected to increase by 45 per cent; prime-age working people are expected to increase by 44 per cent. This means that, the proportion of people aged 65 years or over is projected to increase from 13 per cent in 2010 to 23 per cent by June 2050. (Intergenerational report 2010 Federal Govt Treasury Report)

The changing demographics of the Australian workforce would suggest that more and more of your staff are likely to be carers. The data also indicates that they will be carers not only of young children and teenagers, but also adult family members who may have a mental illness or be disabled. Given the ageing population increasing numbers of employees will become carers of an older person.

The challenges of being a carer in the paid workforce impacts on many aspects of a person's life

Being a carer can have a huge impact on;

  • a person's relationships,
  • their work and opportunities for further education
  • their social life, and
  • their wellbeing and mental health.

A carer's commitment and the problems they face often remain unrecognised both at home and at work. The conflicts that can occur may mean that some carers;

  • change their working patterns,
  • reduce their hours or
  • leave the workforce altogether.

This is not an ideal situation. Employers and their mangers can help by working with their employees to find more flexible and creative ways to ensure the needs of all concerned are met.

Resources to Assist Carers

As part of their work/life strategy, many employers are now looking to find ways to support the carers in their workforce. Doing so means that there is the potential to decrease absenteeism and turnover and increase employee engagement and retention.

Managing Work|Life Balance (MWLB) has produced two specialist resources kits which are currently used by over 60 organisations throughout Australia. These materials enable employers to provide their staff with practical, relevant, up-to-date information about Child and Eldercare issues. Both Kits contain information that is useful for Carers in Australia and New Zealand.

They are provided under a licensing arrangement with MWLB. Contact us for more information.