Are you caring for a loved one? You could be £6,000 better off
People leaving work to care for someone are losing out on nearly £6,000 per year in income on average, new figures suggest.
More than 5 million people provide some form of unpaid care, according to the latest census figures, with 2 million doing so for more than 20 hours per week.
But taking time out from work to care for others means they face an effective penalty of almost £500 per month, the Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF) estimated. This can rise to as high as £9,000 per year after six years of providing unpaid care, it said.
This is because most of these carers are unable to find other sources of income, with more than a quarter not receiving a pension, carers’ allowance or universal credit, the foundation found.
Abby Jitenda, of the JRF, said: “It’s not right that unpaid carers on low incomes are losing out on thousands of pounds, and being pushed into poverty as they can no longer work, while providing much-needed care that benefits us all.”
Earlier this year, Parliament passed the Carer’s Leave Act, which is designed to give unpaid carers one week of unpaid leave a year. However, Ms Jitenda added this did not go far enough to stop people from dropping out of work when care needs intensified.
For more information visit the Telegraph website.