Carers must be given jobs guarantee, says report

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new employment safeguards are needed to safeguard the interests of thousands of women in their 50s are having to balance work with the care of elderly relatives.

The respected IPPR think-tank says people in the so-called “sandwich generation” – people caring for both their grandchildren and their elderly parents – are finding it impossible to get another job when they are finally in a position to return to work.

IPPR’s new report, The Sandwich Generation, argues that up to six months of transferable parental leave could be allocated to a nominated working grandparent so jobs can be kept open for them if they required a prolonged period of leave to meet their family’s care needs.

Associate director Dalia Ben-Galim said: “Women over 50 are increasingly having to juggle responsibilities: childcare to help their grown-up children, social care for their own elderly parents and work to pay the bills and make ends meet. Allowing parents to transfer some of their parental leave to their children’s grandparents would help more women in their 50s to stay in work.

“Our ageing society means that grandparents, especially grandmothers, are increasingly having to care for both their own parents and their grandchildren.

“This so called ‘sandwich generation’ are having to work themselves or are taking career breaks in their 50s in order to help their daughters get back to work after having children and minimise their ‘motherhood pay penalty’.”