This publication summarises results from the Managing Care and Work survey, conducted during October 2005 throughout New South Wales (NSW). It presents information on the relationship between people's unpaid caring responsibilities and their work situation during the six months prior to the survey. Topics covered include:
Unless otherwise specified, differences between data items noted in the Summary of Findings are statistically significant. See paragraph 13 of the Technical Note for further details.
- frequency of care and selected characteristics of the care recipient;
- sector of employment;
- type of work arrangements used to care for someone;
- type of work arrangements wanted to use to care for someone;
- reasons could not use desired work arrangements;
- changes made to work arrangements in order to care for someone;
- whether main reason for self employment was due to caring; and
- main source of income if not looking for paid work due to caring responsibilities.
ABOUT THE SURVEY
The survey was conducted as a supplement to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) Monthly Population Survey (MPS). Please refer to the Explanatory Notes at the back of this publication for further details about this survey.
Where figures have been rounded, discrepancies may occur between totals and the sums of the component items. Published percentages are calculated prior to rounding, and therefore some discrepancy may occur between these percentages and those that may be calculated from the rounded figures.
For further information about these and related statistics, contact the National Information and Referral Service on 1300 135 070.
SUMMARY OF FINDINGS
In the six months to October 2005 an estimated 2,416,500 or 48% of persons aged 18 years or over in New South Wales (NSW) provided care for another adult or child, compared to 42% in October 2000. A higher proportion of females provided care (53%) than males (42%). Of those who provided care, 1,909,500 persons (79%) provided care on an ongoing or continual basis.
Recipient of care and Relationship to carer
The main recipients of care were a carer's own children aged 14 years or under living in the household (58%), other children aged 14 years or under (43%), and persons aged 65 years or over (17%). An estimated 650,000 or 62% of male carers cared for their own child living in the household, compared to an estimated 741,200 or 55% of female carers. The proportion of female carers looking after other children was greater than the proportion of male carers (51% compared to 34%). Similarly a greater proportion of female carers looked after someone aged 65 years or over (19% compared to 13% of male carers). The most common relationship to carer was son or daughter (63%) followed by grandchild (17%).
Whether work arrangements used to care
Of all the carers in NSW, 1,163,000 were employees in paid employment. Of these, 531,800 (46%) had used some form of work arrangement in the last six months to help care for another person.
EMPLOYEES AND CARING
One of the purposes of the Managing Care and Work survey was to investigate the labour force experience of carers in terms of leave opportunities and flexible work practices. The following diagram highlights areas that were important contributors to this purpose.
The number of carers using work arrangements to care varied by sector of employment and sex. Overall 56% of carers working in the government or public service sector (excluding government corporations) used work arrangements to care, compared to 42% of carers in the private sector. A similar proportion of males and females in the government or public service sector used work arrangements to care (56%). Of the female carers working in the private sector, 48% used work arrangements to care, compared to 37% of male carers working in the private sector.
Type of work arrangements used to care
The most common work arrangements used to care for another person were paid leave (52%) and flexible working hours (36%), although the type of work arrangement used varied depending on sex. Males were more likely than females to use paid leave (58% compared to 48%) or a rostered day off (19% compared to 13%). Females were more likely to use part-time work (17%), casual work (13% compared to 4% for males) and unpaid leave (17% compared to 11%).
Whether wanted to make use of work arrangements to care
Of the 531,800 carers who were employees and used work arrangements to care, an estimated 111,000 (21%) wanted to use more of the work arrangement that they already used to help care for someone. An estimated 25% of males in the private sector wanted to use more of a work arrangement to care for someone, compared to an estimated 19% of females. In the government or public service sector 23% of females wanted to increase their use of work arrangements to care, compared to 16% of males.
For carers who were employees, 61,700 (5%) wanted to use a work arrangement they had not already used in order to care for someone.
Work arrangements wanted
Paid leave and flexible working hours were two common arrangements people wanted to use more of to help care for another person. For those already using these arrangements, 43% wanted to use more paid leave and 30% wanted to use more flexible working hours. For those not already using these arrangements, 35% wanted to use paid leave and 25% wanted to use flexible working hours.
Some of the main reasons carers could not use, or make more use of arrangements were work commitments, the nature of work made using flexible arrangements difficult, or they did not have adequate work arrangements.
Changes made to work patterns in order to care
Of the carers who were employees, 4% had permanently changed their usual start or finish times to look after someone, and 4% had permanently reduced the total number of hours usually worked. However, most had not made any changes (91%) to their work pattern in the last 6 months to care for someone.
SELF EMPLOYED CARERS
An estimated 378,700 of all carers were self employed, of which 10% had become self employed to make it easier for them to care for another person. Females were more likely than males to become self employed to make caring easier (18% compared to 6%).
CARERS NOT LOOKING FOR PAID WORK
Approximately 527,000 of all carers were not looking for paid work in October 2005. Of these 221,300 (42%) were not looking for paid work primarily because of their caring responsibilities. The proportion of females not looking for paid work due to caring responsibilities (46%) was more than males (24%). The main sources of income for carers not looking for paid work were their spouse or partner's income (53%) followed by Centrelink payments (44%).
DEFINITION OF CARER
Estimates from this survey are not comparable with estimates from the Survey of Disability, Ageing and Carers (SDAC), due to differences in the carer and recipient of care definitions. For a detailed description of these differences refer to Explanatory Notes, paragraph 14.