The effectiveness of paid services in supporting unpaid carers’ employment in England

Pickard L, King D, Brimblecombe N, Knapp M

Journal of Social Policy 2015, 44, 3: 567—590

Available online 30 Mar 2015

Abstract

This paper explores the effectiveness of paid services in supporting unpaid carers’ employment in England. There is currently a new emphasis in England on ‘replacement care’, or paid services for the cared-for person, as a means of supporting working carers. The international evidence on the effectiveness of paid services as a means of supporting carers’ employment is inconclusive and does not relate specifically to England. The study reported here explores this issue using the 2009/10 Personal Social Services Survey of Adult Carers in England. The study finds a positive association between carers’ employment and receipt of paid services by the cared-for person, controlling for covariates. It therefore gives support to the hypothesis that services for the cared-for person are effective in supporting carers’ employment. Use of home care and a personal assistant are associated on their own with the employment of both men and women carers, while use of day care and meals-on-wheels are associated specifically with women’s employment. Use of short-term breaks are associated with carers’ employment when combined with other services. The paper supports the emphasis in English social policy on paid services as a means of supporting working carers, but questions the use of the term ‘replacement care’ and the emphasis on ‘the market’.