Carers using annual leave to cover childcare
Three in five working carers had to use annual leave last year to look after an ill, elderly or disabled family member, partner or friend, research has found. A poll found carers used on average, six days of their holiday entitlement to help them juggle work and caring responsibilities, prompting calls for the Government to roll out extra statutory leave for carers as soon as possible.
Legislation cementing statutory rights for working carers, which includes five extra days’ unpaid leave a year, is currently under consultation. The survey polled a nationally representative sample of more than 2,000 UK adults. It found almost two-thirds of working carers said they could be forced to give up their existing employment because of a lack of support and flexibility from their employer.
Almost one in five of all workers polled said their employer currently offered carers additional leave, and more than half said they would struggle financially if caring for a loved one meant they could no longer work.
Seven in 10 respondents said they supported the idea of statutory carers’ leave. While the Government doesn’t currently plan to oblige employers to make extra carers’ leave paid, more than two in five respondents also supported such leave being paid.