Inquiry into the recognition of unpaid carers

  • Inquiry into the recognition of unpaid carers image

Carers ACT provided a submission to the recent Federal Inquiry into the Recognition of Unpaid Carers. We noted the fundamental invisibility and lack of recognition for unpaid carers in Australia. We undertook a survey of carers in the region and it revealed that carers are often misunderstood, and the term “carer” itself, is often confused with paid workers.

Despite government efforts to raise awareness, 87% of carers felt their role wasn’t understood or valued by the public. This misunderstanding led to feelings of isolation and frustration. Many carers, particularly from diverse backgrounds, struggled to self-identify due to stigma and lack of knowledge about available services.

We found that the importance of recognition beyond awareness is vital, with a focus on respecting carers’ contributions. The challenges faced by carers in maintaining employment due to their responsibilities were also highlighted, and we have called for more flexible workplaces, additional paid carer leave, and superannuation support.

Choice and respite care are also critical for carers’ well-being, but often limited, leading to stress and burnout. Quality respite care and worker training are crucial to alleviate this burden.

We believe carers must have equal recognition and support for your essential role. Our recommendations seek to improve awareness, respect, choice, and accountability for unpaid carers in Australia.

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