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Combining paid work and family carePolicies and experiences in international perspective$
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Teppo Kroger and Sue Yeandle

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9781447306818

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781447306818.001.0001

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‘In sickness and in health’ and beyond: reconciling work and care for a partner in Australia and England

‘In sickness and in health’ and beyond: reconciling work and care for a partner in Australia and England

(p.182) (p.183) Ten ‘In sickness and in health’ and beyond: reconciling work and care for a partner in Australia and England
Combining paid work and family care

Gary Fry

Cathy Thomson

Trish Hill

Policy Press

This chapter examines the issue of combining paid work with the care of a disabled or seriously ill partner in England and Australia. It begins by using survey data on working-age partner-carers’ demographic characteristics, participation in paid employment, the services and welfare benefits they access, their reasons for leaving paid work and their future employment plans. In both countries, carers of a disabled or seriously ill partner tend to be older than carers of other people, have heavier care responsibilities, and are more likely to be in paid employment. Approximately half of English and Australian partner carers are men, a much higher percentage than carers of other people. In both countries, there are no support services dedicated specifically to partner-carers, although they have access to policies and initiatives available to carers in general. Case studies are used to illustrate the challenges faced by partner-carers in trying to reconcile their caring and employment roles, and recent policy developments in each country and their implications for this group of carers are discussed. The chapter concludes by considering the effectiveness of the support available to partner-carers and the implications of the evidence available for future policy development.

Keywords:   Carers, Partner, Spouse, Disabled, Working-age, Employment, Support services, Policy, England, Australia

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