Employee benefits could ease the burden for Generation X carers

New data has suggested that offering statutory paid parental leave and flexible working could ease the burden for Generation X carers.

According to the International Longevity Centre’s (ILC) Slipping between the cracks report which was supported by long-term savings and retirement business Phoenix Group, carers from Generation X – those born between 1965 and 1980 – are considerably disadvantaged because of their responsibilities.

The research found that when it comes to pensions, a third (32%) of respondents said they are too overwhelmed or distracted to plan for retirement. One in six (16%) is not confident they will be able to work for as long as needed as a result of their caring responsibilities, which is likely to impact their income and could mean they face retirement poverty.

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Of those who cannot afford to save more, 25% said their responsibilities limit their ability to work and 7% answered that they are paying to support an unwell friend or relative, which affects their ability to save.

Additionally, two-thirds (67%) answered that they would like to save more money but struggle to do so, with 56% saying they simply can’t put any more away, while 24% have difficulties due to insecure earnings and fluctuating outgoings.

Sophia Dimitriadis, research fellow at ILC and report author, explained that extending existing legislation around parental leave to offer 10 days of statutory paid leave for carers could make a difference.

She said: “The Covid-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic has also demonstrated that many more roles can be worked flexibly. This provides a significant opportunity to shift towards roles being flexible by default – to enable more people to flex their work around their caring responsibilities. As the demand for informal carers is expected to soar to meet the needs of our ageing population, policy makers will urgently need to support the needs of carers – including those that want to work.”