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Work-life imbalance: informal care and paid employment

Charmichael, F., Connell, G., Hulme, C. and Sheppard, S. (2008) Work-life imbalance: informal care and paid employment. Feminist Economics, 14 (2). pp. 3-35. ISSN 1354-5701

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In the United Kingdom informal carers are people who look after relatives or friends who need extra support because of age, physical or learning disability or illness. The majority of informal carers are women and female carers also care for longer hours and for longer durations than men. Thus women and older women in particular, shoulder the burden of informal care. We consider the costs of caring in terms of the impact that these kinds of caring responsibilities have on employment. The research is based on the responses of informal carers to a dedicated questionnaire and in-depth interviews with a smaller sub-sample of carers. Our results indicate that the duration of a caring episode as well as the hours carers commit to caring impact on their employment participation. In addition carers’ employment is affected by financial considerations, the needs of the person they care for, carers’ beliefs about the compatibility of informal care and paid work and employers’ willingness to accommodate carers’ needs. Overall, the research confirms that informal carers continue to face difficulties when they try to combine employment and care in spite of recent policy initiatives designed to help them.

Item Type: Article
Copyright, Publisher and Additional Information: This is a preprint of an article submitted for consideration in Feminist Economics. Feminist Economics is available online at: http://www.informaworld.com Uploaded in accordance with the publisher's self-archiving policy
Institution: The University of Leeds
Academic Units: The University of Leeds > Faculty of Medicine and Health (Leeds) > School of Medicine (Leeds) > Leeds Institute of Health Sciences (Leeds) > Academic Unit of Health Economics (Leeds)
Depositing User: Mrs JM Wright
Date Deposited: 13 Dec 2007 17:50
Last Modified: 08 Feb 2013 17:05
Published Version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13545700701881005
Status: Published
Publisher: Routledge, Taylor and Francis Group
Refereed: No
Identification Number: 10.1080/13545700701881005
URI: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/3534

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