‘Sandwich carers’ – those who look after children and their relatives, are struggling to cope with the burden of juggling caring responsibilities alongside their job.
1.3 million people in the UK now fall into this category and new research* from health and wellbeing provider – BHSF, reveals that many are at breaking point. More than half, 56% said they often find managing their responsibilities hard – with 24% admitting that it’s always too much to cope with.
These figures are much higher than those reported in the rest of the country. Looking at the whole of the UK, 1 in 6 sandwich carer employees said that their responsibilities are always too much to cope with. This is a startling difference and may be down to several reasons, including employees in London typically have longer commutes and the population tends to be more transient. This means Londoners are more likely, than those in the rest of the country, to live further away from extended family members, who can provide extra support.
The research also highlighted the dramatic impact these caring responsibilities are having on the health of sandwich carers. Of those employees based in London, 59% said it has affected their physical health, and 56% revealed it’s had an impact on their mental health. These figures show that employees in this situation are in desperate need of support from their employers to manage their situation and still be productive in work.
Brian Hall – Chief Commercial Officer at BHSF, said:
“As people put off having children until their 30s (or even 40s) and life expectancy continues to increase, more and more employees will become ‘sandwich carers’.
“Our research shows just how difficult it is to manage the demands of caring for children and elderly relatives while holding down a job.
“The number of employees on the brink is startling, and employers need to take note. Employees are in desperate need of support that extends beyond the workplace and can be accessed as and when they need it – which is often outside of working hours. Because the needs of the workforce are so varied, employers should consider wellbeing benefits that bring together multiple resources and access to specialists.”