date: 15 February 2013
embargo: For immediate release
Responding to new official statistics published today (Friday) which show that the number of unpaid carers has increased by 600,000 since 2001, TUC General Secretary Frances O'Grady said:
'Britain's growing army of unpaid carers, the vast majority of whom are women, provide an invaluable service to society.
'But despite being worth around £340bn a year, unpaid care is still not given the recognition it deserves from either government or employers.
'Far too many women are forced to trade down or even quit jobs when they take on caring responsibilities. Not enough employers truly embrace flexible working, despite the benefits it holds for staff and the business.
'As the population ages the ever increasing care needs of our society cannot be met by unpaid care alone. We need government investment in all services, from childcare to elderly care. Without this extra funding we will continue to see women drop out of the labour market to fill the gaps in care provision.'
NOTES TO EDITORS:
- The Office for National Statistics figures are available at bit.ly/14W9RIH
- All TUC press releases can be found at www.tuc.org.uk
- Follow the TUC on Twitter: @tucnews
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Issued: 15 February, 2013