Millions of the UK’s carers are stressed, tired, and overwhelmed at the pressures that come from balancing work with their personal commitments. A study of 1,000 unpaid carers, who also hold down a job, found that, on average, they will start looking after loved ones for a couple of hours ahead of work, and won’t finish their caring duties until after 9:30pm.
At least five hours of every single day is spent actively looking after someone in their care – with just 50 minutes downtime in a usual day.
Even night-times are interrupted, with carers getting up at least twice to assist those they live with.
But a quarter of those polled admit their bosses are completely unaware of their personal situation – so pile on the pressure as normal.
And 70 percent don’t know of any provisions for carers within their workplace – no time for compassionate leave, nowhere to go for a bit of a “brain break”, and no pay if they do need to take time off for emergencies.
The research was carried out by hygiene and health company, Essity, which offers its 1,600 employees in the UK and ROI an additional six days paid leave if they are a carer for a friend or family member, on top of their usual allowance of annual leave.
Gareth Lucy, communication director for Essity said: “For so many carers, a steady income is absolutely crucial to being able to provide a decent and consistent level of care.
“Although the government is introducing the new Caring Leave Bill, it only gives carers the right to five days unpaid leave per year.
“We recognise that carers have enough to worry about, and not being paid shouldn’t be added to the list.”
The study found, of those who have chosen to keep their affairs to themselves, 47 percent want to keep their work and life outside separate.
But for 16 percent, the motivation is not wanting to be treated differently – while 13 percent fear it would affect their chances of promotion, and 12 percent think key responsibilities may not be afforded to them.
On a typical day, caring responsibilities will include having a conversation with a loved one and keeping them company (72 percent), preparing food (67 percent), and doing laundry (65 percent).
Other duties include helping them move around the home (39 percent), bathing or washing them (35 percent), and helping them use the toilet (29 percent).
But additional time is also needed aside from the day to day for medical appointments (70 percent), general life admin (56 percent), managing bills (51 percent), and transportation (50 percent).
Unsurprisingly, half of all respondents polled, via OnePoll.com, admitted being a carer is a full-time job in itself.
And 45 percent spend a lot of time thinking about their caring role when at work – while 52 percent said being a carer means absolutely no time off, not even at weekends.
Carrying on in a professional capacity can be hard – with six in ten admitting they often find themselves unable to complete their days’ work as a result of their caring duties.
Almost half (49 percent) have had to finish before their contracted hours were up to tend to their loved one, and 42 percent have used annual leave to fulfil caring duties.
Personal calls during work hours (39 percent), making excuses to leave work when needed (24 percent), and calling in sick (14 percent), are among the ways care work has impacted on the job.
Gareth Lucy added: “Our employees have told us that it’s tough to balance your career with your caring responsibilities.
“Essity’s new policy aims to create equity for those that face additional challenges outside of the workplace – while the launch of our new carers app, Caressa, will provide a simple way for carers to plan and review the care they provide.”
Post source: Express