Click here to skip to content

Welfare Reform on the Web (February 2008): Social care - UK - community care

Combining work and care: carers' decision-making in the context of competing policy pressures

H. Arksey and C. Glendinning

Social Policy and Administration, vol. 42, 2008, p. 1-18

The UK government seeks to promote labour market participation by all working age adults while at the same time sustaining the informal care of sick, disabled and older people. This study of 80 working age carers in England explored the range of factors influencing carers' decisions about, and experiences of, combining paid work and care. Significant issues affecting carers' decisions are: current and anticipated financial need; the constraints created by the eligibility rules for Carers' Allowance and other means-tested benefits; personal identity and desire to maintain a life outside of care giving; job opportunities and scope for flexible working; social services provision; carers' own health; and distance and transport issues. It is concluded that if the government wishes to move significant numbers of carers back into work, it will need to put in place a range of policies to support them.

Search Welfare Reform on the Web