As many as 600 people a day are quitting their jobs because working conditions are incompatible with their care duties, charity research has found.
The report, commissioned by Carers UK, surveyed almost 4,300 adults and called for better support from employers for the 1 in 7 juggling paid work with being a carer.
Up to 2.6 million people have had to leave their jobs to care for a relative who is older, disabled or ill – 468,000 in the last two years alone. This is 12 per cent more than when YouGov carried out a similar poll in 2013.
The public sector was hit hardest by this, with 19 per cent of workers in the public sector dancing between work and care (compared to 13 per cent in the private sector).
A 2014 report from the charity said social services and the NHS rely on the unpaid work of carers, and that “without it they would collapse”.
The same study found that 1 in 3 carers reported losing at least £20,000 off their annual household income as a result of caring; they said the Carer’s Allowance combined with an earning limit did little to prevent financial hardship. Almost half said they had cut back on essentials like food.