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Unpaid carers should insure

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21/03/2006

Approximately 2.3 million unpaid carers have given up the option of paid work to look after families and the home. But Lincoln warns households that rely on the unpaid work to tide them over are taking massive financial risks.

Women account for the vast majority of the people classed as “economically inactive” while they are looking after families or homes but as more and more women return to paid work, the number of men staying at home with children or families is rising – currently around 200,000.

The 2.1 million women and 200,000 men might be classed as “economically inactive” but the work they do would be financially difficult to replace. Average childcare costs are estimated at £7,300 per child by the Daycare Trust while nursing home care for OAPs can be as much as £455 a week, according to healthcare experts Laing & Buisson.

On the assumption that 2.3 million were paid the average national wage of £24,000 before tax they would be earning as much as £55.2 billion. And Lincoln Financial believes more families need to think about how they would pay for their unpaid help if they did not have family members to rely on.

Ian Noble, head of strategic partnerships at Lincoln commented, “The “economically inactive” might not receive any pay for their work but they make a massive contribution to the economy. Childcare and care for the elderly are expensive and these people are doing important jobs. Housewives, househusbands and other family members giving up work to look after the house or relatives deserve recognition for their work. Families need to think long and hard about how they would cope if the person staying at home could no longer do their unpaid work.”

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