Group representing Irish businesses calls for greater supports for carers

by HRHQ Editorial Team

A report published on unpaid caregiving in Ireland, by Ibec, the group representing Irish businesses, has revealed that the majority of people caring for another adult are also in employment.

The research, entitled ‘Better Care Better Business,’ reveals that when considering the impact of caregiving responsibilities on the workplace, most employed primary caregivers of adults agreed that it can be challenging to manage all responsibilities (89%) and that balancing work and caregiving responsibilities is difficult (73%).

Ibec is calling for a fully funded Carer’s Guarantee to cover essential services and proposes a review of existing support schemes for carers. It has called for a fundamental shift in how care and caregivers are valued, given the increasing number of working caregivers as the population ages.

Ibec is also encouraging employers to ensure that the workplace is supportive of working caregivers.

Dr. Kara McGann, Head of Skills and Social Policy at Ibec, said:

“People in Ireland are living longer, and while this changing demographic brings significant opportunities, it also poses challenges due to the increased need for care. Caring responsibilities are increasingly concerning for our members as staff struggle to balance care with work. With the potential rise in the number of individuals requiring long-term care, relying solely on informal care and working caregivers without adequate supports and services is unsustainable. Care must be accessible, affordable, and responsive to the changing demographic needs of the country.

There is a crucial role for both the Government and employers to better support individuals in need of care and those providing ancillary care. The current waiting lists for home care and other social services highlight a significant gap between the demand and supply of adequate services. Increased state investment, improved recruitment and retention levels, and a more flexible approach to the availability of supports are necessary. Failure to do so will potentially have significant repercussions for the labour market. Employers also have an opportunity to future-proof their workplaces and ensure that supports are in place to enable working caregivers to remain connected to the labour market.”