Women as Unpaid Carers

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Plight of the middle-aged women who have been turned into army of unpaid carers By James Slack Daily Mail, Last updated at 8:52 AM on 11th October 2010 Middle-aged women have been turned into an army of unpaid carers who suffer losses in income, job prospects and health. According to a landmark study of 'fairness' in modern Britain, published today, a quarter of women in their fifties have carer responsibilities, often for an ageing parent. According to the Equality and Human Rights Commission, this group of 'dutiful middle-aged' is likely to consider this work ' rewarding'  -  despite it coming after decades of caring for their own children. And they will lose out in relation to their 'job prospects, income and health', suffering from 'chronic disadvantage'. Caring for the elderly: Middle-aged women have been turned into an army of unpaid carers At the same time, they save the taxpayer, an extra £87billion by providing free care that would otherwise be funded by the NHS.

The study also reveals how:
* There remains a huge pay gap – with women earning almost a fifth less than men. * Millions of women are not entitled to full state pensions. * Crimes most commonly suffered by women have the worst clear-up rates. The study says gaps in employment histories– often the result of having children or quitting work for full-time caring – leave 60 per cent of women entitled to less than the full basic state pension. This compares to only ten per cent of men. With an ageing population, more people will be forced to take on responsibility for caring for parents with debilitating conditions. This will lead to ‘chronic disadvantage’ for those involved, the 700-page EHRC study, which claims to be the biggest of its kind ever conducted, warns. Nearly one in five men in their fifties has carer responsibilities, and there are 175,000 under-18s in the same position.

Of 15.2million people in full-time paid work, 1.2million also have unpaid care duties to perform at...
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