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Work and Pensions Select Committee publishes report on Carers and Employment Inquiry

Thursday 17th May 2018

Work & Pensions Select Committee, a group of MPs, have published their report on the Carers and Employment Inquiry.

We submitted evidence to this and supported Nikki Kimber, a parent carer from Lancashire, to give oral evidence in parliament .

The committee calls on the government to remove the "cliff-edge" in benefit calculation that sees Carer's Allowance - £64.60 per week - withdrawn in full as soon as carers earn more than £120 a week. 

It also recommends linking the Carer's Allowance earnings threshold to rises in the National Living Wage. These are both recommendations that we suggested to the committee in our submission and which we have been campaigning on for many years.

Nikki told the Committee: "I am the mother of a beautiful 15 year-old girl who, at seven months' old, was diagnosed with profound disabilities. Someone once said to me that employment and disabled children are like oil and water, they just do not mix. I have found this throughout the journey that we have taken with Antonia.

"I am a fully qualified teacher. I trained in 1996 and worked full time until Antonia was diagnosed. I then had to give up my job because there is not the highly-qualified specialist care available for me to work".

The committee also says that the government should:

  • Withdraw Carer's Allowance gradually as income rises, in line with the Universal Credit taper system
  • Allow carers to request flexible working from day 1 of their employment
  • When resources allow, introduce a statutory five days paid carer's leave

Rt Hon Frank Field MP, Chair of the Work and Pension Select Committee, said: "Carers are heroic and undervalued. They are a great untapped resource for our high employment, low productivity economy - and a sorely unrecognised one. They contribute hundreds of billions of pounds in unpaid work to our economy which is not counted on any Treasury balance sheet.

"Ensuring work pays and that employers adapt to accommodate caring is not just good for the carers: it is necessary for the whole economy. Government should lead on both practice and policy."

Read the ful report.

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