I’ve met 3 businesses in the past week where a senior member of staff (all women in their 50’s) has left to Care for an elderly parent. The impact has been considerable in different ways.
The staff member has lost their income, maybe their own sense of identity and is now trying to cope with caring for someone they love, in a system that doesn’t always work well to meet the needs of the person needing Care.
The impact on the business is they have lost a skilled, experienced and valued member of staff which has affected their turnover, sales and profit. Recruiting to that position will be difficult.
Obviously, people make a choice about whether to stay at work, leave to care and have different reasons behind those decisions. For some it’s an easy choice, but not for everyone.
For some, they are affected financially due to the loss of income and they can’t get their State Pension until they are 66 – at least. They may also care for their children or grandchildren which adds to their stress.
Some have a sympathetic employer who will discuss whether there are ways of working flexibly to enable them to keep working part time.
Other people are not so lucky and have an unsympathetic employer who doesn’t value them and won’t consider flexible working patterns.
There is a huge problem looming in that people (women in particular) in their 50’s and 60’s are being pushed into a situation where they have little or no choice about working and caring. The ageing population is growing, with stretched services not coping with their needs.
Those women can’t contribute to the economy if they are not working, not contributing to their own pension and will increasingly develop their own Mental Health issues due to the pressure of caring and the isolation that can bring.
Having someone impartial and pragmatic to help them work through what they want to do or not want to do and develop positive actions to help themselves will go some way towards them making the right decision for them at that time of their life.