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Ibec calls for greater supports for carers

A new report from business group Ibec has found that the majority of people caring for another adult are also in employment.

The research entitled ‘Better Care Better Business’ reveals that when considering the impact of caregiving responsibilities on the workplace, most employed primary caregivers of adults agreed that it can be challenging to manage all responsibilities and that balancing work and caregiving responsibilities is difficult.

Ibec has called for a fundamental shift in how care and caregivers are valued, given the increasing number of working caregivers as the population ages.

The business group said it is urging Government to introduce a fully funded ‘Carer’s Guarantee’ that would provide a core basket of services for carers including access to emergency respite care, training and support.

Ibec is also encouraging employers to ensure that the workplace is supportive of working caregivers.

“Caring responsibilities are increasingly concerning for our members as staff struggle to balance care with work,” said Dr Kara McGann, Head of Skills and Social Policy at Ibec.

“There is a crucial role for both the Government and employers to better support individuals in need of care and those providing ancillary care.”

“Increased state investment, improved recruitment and retention levels, and a more flexible approach to the availability of supports are necessary,” Dr McGann said.

“Failure to do so will potentially have significant repercussions for the labour market.”

“Employers also have an opportunity to future-proof their workplaces and ensure that supports are in place to enable working caregivers to remain connected to the labour market,” she added.

The Ibec report calls for increased investment in care options such as sheltered housing, respite and daycare.

It is also recommending a review of support schemes for carers to make them less restrictive as well as a national campaign to promote the value and profile of careers in care.

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