Ibec calls for a fully funded Carer's Guarantee for core services

March 05, 2024
  • Research finds majority of carers are in employment
  • 73% of adult caregivers say it’s challenging to balance work and caring responsibilities


Dublin, Ireland – Ibec, the group representing Irish businesses, has published a report on unpaid caregiving in Ireland, revealing that the majority of people caring for another adult are also in employment. When considering the impact of caregiving responsibilities on the workplace, most employed primary caregivers of adults agreed that it can be challenging to manage all responsibilities (89%) and that balancing work and caregiving responsibilities is difficult (73%).

As part of Ibec’s Better Lives Better Care campaign, the report advocates for enhanced support for individuals balancing employment and caregiving responsibilities. This need is expected to grow as our population ages. Ibec is calling for a fully funded Carer’s Guarantee to cover essential services and proposes a review of existing support schemes for carers. Additionally, Ibec is working with employers in creating supportive workplaces for employees juggling work and caregiving duties.

Dr. Kara McGann, Head of Skills and Social Policy at Ibec, said:

“People in Ireland are living longer, and while this changing demographic brings significant opportunities, it also poses challenges due to the increased need for care. Caring responsibilities are increasingly concerning for our members as staff struggle to balance care with work. With the potential rise in the number of individuals requiring long-term care, relying solely on informal care and working caregivers without adequate supports and services is unsustainable. Care must be accessible, affordable, and responsive to the changing demographic needs of the country.

There is a crucial role for both the Government and employers to better support individuals in need of care and those providing ancillary care. The current waiting lists for home care and other social services highlight a significant gap between the demand and supply of adequate services. Increased state investment, improved recruitment and retention levels, and a more flexible approach to the availability of supports are necessary. Failure to do so will potentially have significant repercussions for the labour market. Employers also have an opportunity to future-proof their workplaces and ensure that supports are in place to enable working caregivers to remain connected to the labour market.”

Other report recommendations highlighted in the report include:

  • An integrated statutory system for long-term care and increased investment in care options such as sheltered housing, respite and daycare
  • A statutory home support scheme similar to the entitlement to nursing home support under Fair Deal
  • A review of support schemes for carers to make them less restrictive
  • Better coordination of respite and support services.
  • A national campaign to promote the value and profile of careers in care
  • Reviewing eligibility criteria for benefits and investing in development and career pathways for home care staff
  • Encouraging employers to become 'Caring Employers' through programmes like those offered by Family Carers Ireland.

Our report can downloaded in full on our website.