• Chloe Maughan

Exploring barriers to work among unpaid carers

Across the England & Wales it is estimated that 1.2 million employees provide 30 hours or more a week of care to family or friends in addition to their paid job. Unpaid carers face a range of barriers that can make it difficult to balance care work with paid work, and previous research has shown that 44% of carers face difficulties combining paid work with care work. In addition to this, there are carers who may be considering a return to paid work, who face additional barriers when seeking employment.


Since 2019, Wavehill have been helping Carers Trust to evaluate the impact of Working for Carers. An employability project that supports unpaid carers and former carers in London to move closer to employment, Working for Carers is jointly funded by the European Social Fund and The National Lottery Community Fund.


In this time, we have learned a lot about the obstacles that make it difficult for carers to access paid work opportunities including:

  • 68% of carers told us that a lack of opportunities fit around their caring role is a barrier to them entering the workplace.

  • 1 in 3 carers told us that they find it hard to access alternative care in order to enable them to enter work.

  • 17% of carers told us that concerns about stigma in the workplace is a barrier to them entering work.

  • Almost 1 in 3 carers told us that financial concerns, such as the withdrawal of Carer’s Allowance or other benefits have made it difficult for them to enter the workplace.

Building on our previous findings, we’re excited to again be working with Carers Trust and Working for Carers to explore what support unpaid carers need to access, and thrive, in workplaces across the UK.


Get involved in our research

To help us to understand the issues and barriers carers face across England and Wales, we would like to hear from you:

Our online surveys will be open until 4th April, and after this date we’ll be hosting a series of workshops with carers to understand more about the support carers would like to receive.


For more information contact Chloe Maughan.


Project funded by: