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Brits taking more time off to care for elderly relatives

Posted on from Changeboard

An ageing workforce has lead to more and more UK employees taking time off to care for their elderly relatives. Do employers need to be more flexible in supporting their employees with these issues?

Almost one-in-six British workers (16%) have had to take time off or change their hours to care for an elderly relative. 

The research, carried out by Willis PMI Group, found that 34% of workers have to take sick leave to fulfil caring responsibilities. 

Mike Blake, director at Willis PMI Group said: “An ageing workforce poses a number of significant changes for UK business. Already, 30% of the country’s workforce is over the age of 50, meaning many will find themselves needing to juggle work with the responsibility of caring of an elderly relative, often a parent.”

32% of employees took compassionate leave to care for their family, with only 21% of respondents afforded flexible working hours. 

More than half of the people surveyed called for employee benefit providers to offer more services to provide support and guidance for their caring responsibilities.

Blake added: “Flexible working is a positive step but employers may also consider eldercare benefits. These schemes are not yet commonly used but can help to provide everything from extra care at home to assistance with financial planning.

“The industry will need to work harder to provide creative solutions that meet the needs of both employers and employees.”


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