Career or Care report lays bare the failure to support our unpaid carers, says Eastwood

Alliance Economy spokesperson Sorcha Eastwood MLA has said that action is long overdue to support unpaid carers, most of whom are women.

Economy Sorcha Eastwood carers

She was speaking after the ‘Career or care: Women, unpaid caring and employment in Northern Ireland’ report was published by Carers NI and Women’s Regional Consortium, which highlighted that nearly 60% of unpaid carers are women. Also, that 1 in 3 women with unpaid caring roles have given up employment to care.


The Lagan Valley MLA has said: “It’s unquantifiable just how much unpaid carers do for our society, and in return we must ensure we are providing them with every support we can.


Carers, most of whom are women, are finding themselves juggling caring for a loved one with their employment, finances, health, and well-being. With an ageing population, this will only become more acute and therefore action is needed now.


“With that in mind, I support the report’s recommendations, including legislating for paid carer’s leave from work, and I have sought confirmation from the Economy Minister that this will be part of any employment bill coming forward from the department.


“As the report notes, employment can be an important part of many people's identity and can provide a sense of meaning and purpose. Any economic strategy pursued by the Minister needs to ensure people, especially women, have as much flexibility and support as possible to be able to maintain a career and advance within it, alongside caring for their loved ones.”