Introduction

Millions of people in England are unpaid ‘carers’. They provide care to family or friends in need of help because they are ill, frail or have a disability. Many unpaid carers are of ‘working age’ (under State Pension Age). The 2001 Census shows that there are 4.27 million carers of working age in Britain, 2.83 million of whom are also in paid employment. One of the priorities of the Government’s current Carers’ Strategy is to support people of working age with caring responsibilities to remain in work, a policy also emphasised by the report of the Dilnot Commission on Funding of Care and Support. To achieve this, there is increasing policy emphasis on ‘replacement care’ for the cared-for person as a means of supporting carers to remain in employment.

This project followed on from an SSCR-funded scoping study on unpaid care and employment. It aimed to fill important gaps in evidence, identified by the scoping study, relating to social care support for the cared-for person (‘replacement care’) as a means of supporting carers in employment.

The study examined the effectiveness of formal social care for the cared-for person as a means of supporting carers in employment, and tried to identify demand for social care support by working carers not in receipt of formal care, and the costs of meeting it.