Carers New Zealand has welcomed a comprehensive report that analyses the social costs and economic impact of caring in New Zealand.
The Infometrics report, prepared by the economist and former Treasury official David Grimmond, will be among the workplace-related subjects to be discussed with employers at workshops to be held next month in Auckland and Christchurch.
Infometrics assessed Census and other government data to offer a detailed picture of the typical New Zealand carer. Its report shows that caregiving is associated with a significant loss of income and hours of paid work for the 430,000+ family carers identified in the most recent Census as supporting someone who is elderly, ill, or disabled, and who lives with them or in another location.
The report reveals that 672.2m hours of care are provided in New Zealand each year, averaging 30 hours a week for every person involved. Infometrics has pegged the annual economic value of this work at more than $10 billion.
The report, produced with funding assistance from Bupa and the IHC Foundation, also confirms the long-held perception of females shouldering much of the care burden in New Zealand—around 63% of carers overall.
Laurie Hilsgen, chief executive of Carers NZ, the peak body for carers, says the Infometrics report is a useful tool for researchers and media outlets, and a reminder of the “very simple steps” employers can take to ensure their workplaces are more carer-friendly.
These include allowing flexibility of working hours and communication with vulnerable family members during work time, and giving practical support when needed.
“If this report highlights anything, it is the huge relevance of caring to the wider economy, and the benefits to the economy when carers are taken into account,” she said.
Diversity and human resource managers who would like to learn more about some best practice strategies to support employees who are carers are invited to join Carers NZ, Business NZ, and workplace diversity consultancy Diversitas at next month’s free workshops.
There will also be an opportunity to share their organisations’ experiences in a roundtable discussion, and learn about Carers NZ’s new carer friendly workplace accreditation program. To learn more about the events and find advice for employers and working carers visit www.carersair.net.nz
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION OR TO REQUEST THE INFOMETRICS REPORT
0800 777 797 or 021 702 922