• One in five (19%) older workers in the UK expect to leave work to care for adult family members
• Women in particular (20%) are more likely to see their careers cut short by the need to care for a relative or a partner. Men are not far behind (17%)
• But just 6% of employers view caring pressures as a significant issue faced by their employees, highlighting a disconnect between employee and employer
Over 2.6 million older workers expect they will have to retire early to care for a relative or partner, according to new research from Aviva.
This equates to one in five (19%) of mid-life employees, with men (17%) just as likely as women (20%) to cut their careers short to look after a family member. says Aviva.
Aviva, which surveyed 2,000 workers aged 45 and over, found that many older workers are opting to take on their relatives’ care duties themselves as a means to save money amid concerns over the burgeoning funding crisis.
Both ends of the age spectrum
It’s not just the care needs of older relatives that mid-life employees are having to contend with, asthose aged 45 and over are facing care demands from both ends of the age spectrum.
One in 10 (10%) of older workers expect they will have to leave work to care for children or grandchildren, highlighting the pressures being faced by the so-called ‘sandwich generation’ as they look to support both younger and older relatives.
Despite the care conundrum expected to cause one in five employees to leave their jobs, just 6% of UK employers consider care pressures a significant issue being faced by their older workers.
Lindsey Rix, Managing Director at Aviva comments: “The practical, financial and emotional costs of caring for relatives both young and old are forcing many people in mid-life to make increasingly difficult decisions about balancing their commitments. Mid-life is the fastest growing age demographic in the UK workforce, so we can expect these pressures to grow.
“At Aviva, we don’t claim to have all the answers, but we feel a responsibility to help. We have introduced a carers’ policy which provides up to 70 hours of additional annual leave for our people with caring responsibilities.
“We have introduced Mid-Life MOTs to provide our people aged 45-60 with targeted guidance on the management of their wealth, work and wellbeing; and we are piloting a partnership with “Super Carers” to help our people navigate the care landscape.
“As the UK population ages, the number of carers at work can be expected to grow. It is concerning to see that only a small percentage of employers are prioritising the issue of care. The need to care for carers must rise up our list of priorities.”