Many looking after children as well as relatives struggle with caring duties alongside job
According ONS statistics, 1.3m people fall into the ‘sandwich generation' category, a term used to describe those who care for both children and elder relatives or parents.
Research by wellbeing provider BHSF has suggested that many are at breaking point, with one in six (16%) admitting that it is always too much to cope with caring responsibilities alongside their job. Meanwhile, 44% said they often find it hard.
The survey of 1,000 employees who work at least 16 hours a week also revealed that female workers/carers are feeling the strain more so than their male counterparts, with 19% of women saying that they struggle to cope compared to 11% of men.
It also found that younger employees are feeling the strain most; 26% of those aged 25 to 34 said the demand of juggling caring responsibilities and their job is too much to cope with. BHSF suggested that those with more junior roles might be faced with less flexibility than older, more senior employees.
The research revealed that 52% of ‘sandwich carers' said it affected their physical health and 47% said it impacted their mental health.
‘On the brink'
"As people put off having children until their 30s (or even 40s) and life expectancy continues to increase, more and more employees will become ‘sandwich carers'," said Brian Hall, chief commercial officer at BHSF. "Our research shows just how difficult it is to manage the demands of caring for children and elderly relatives while holding down a job.
"The number of employees on the brink is startling, and employers need to take note. Employees are in desperate need of support that extends beyond the workplace and can be accessed as and when they need it - which is often outside of working hours. Because the needs of the workforce are so varied, employers should consider wellbeing benefits that bring together multiple resources and access to specialists."
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