This report presents new data from a survey about Australian experiences and attitudes towards caring and care work. It provides insight into four key issues: the experiences of Australian carers during the pandemic; attitudes towards work in the care services sector; the importance of various supports for carers to assist them to balance caring roles with paid work; and who Australians perceive to be responsible for the future funding of the care sector. The research found that most Australians think that care work is rewarding and fulfilling, but most also believe that work in the care sector is poorly paid and insecure. The report also found that most people with caregiving roles reporting increased levels of stress and isolation during the pandemic. Rates of stress and isolation were particularly high among women carers, younger carers, and people with more intensive caring roles, who were also the groups least able to access support from their employers and informal networks. The report concludes that to provide the highest standards of care and support to Australians who need it and better support family carers, fair pay and conditions for care workers is critical, and workplaces need to institute a range of care-friendly policies including around flexible work and paid leave for caring.
|Australian National University
|Published - 2023