Would you stop working to take care of your parents?

During the last 5 years, the number of inactive people who do not seek employment to care for dependents has increased by 2.3%, from 526,700 to 538,900.

If we break down the specific reasons why these people do not look for work, we observe that people who have withdrawn from the market because they can not afford the adequate services for the caring for sick adults and / or people with disabilities, have grown in a much larger proportion, of 44%, from 74,300 inactive in 2012 to 107,100 in 2017.

In total, currently represent 19.9% ​​of the total inactive care for dependent people, compared to 14.1% in 2012. So, it is the variable that has grown the most during the last five years. In other words: more and more inactive are being counted, withdrawn from the market by care for dependents, highlighting, above all, those who do not seek employment to care for sick adults or people with disabilities.


According to Myriam Ganado, a consultant from the Adecco Foundation, an expert in families: "making work and personal life compatible is a challenge for all professionals, which becomes a challenge when there is a disabled person in the family unit. not a few workers decide to withdraw from the market to deal directly with their family member, because they can not afford a person who provides adequate care, which explains why those who are inactive for caring for sick adults or people with disabilities are the ones who have increased the most of all those who retire from employment to care for dependents ".

They continue to increase, although by far, the inactive for not being able to afford adequate services for the care of children, who have grown by 6.6% in the last five years. In the rest of the cases, a decrease is observed.


Radiography: Woman older than 45 years

What is the profile of the professional who withdraws from the market to take care of his family member with a disability? According to INE data, it is mostly a woman (86.3%), over 45 years old (88.4%).

According to Francisco Mesonero, general director of the Adecco Foundation, "these data confirm two realities: firstly, in our society the feminine role as a caretaker of the family and the home is still deeply rooted and, secondly, older women The 45-year-olds face the greatest difficulties in the labor market and, therefore, the first to decide to retire when the family situation requires it, given the lack of professional expectations. "

In the same vein, Mesonero adds that: "seniors are an essential work force for the maintenance of our Welfare State, the challenge is that they can convert the care of their family into their profession, providing it with economic and social recognition, through of public-private collaboration that allows them to continue contributing to the economy while they are carried out professionally ".


Less professional opportunities

Although not all professionals with family members with disabilities withdraw from the labor market, those who remain in it find obstacles and difficulties added. This fact conditions the employment possibilities of the workers, who have to find work days and measures of flexibility that make compatible personal and professional life.

In this line, more than half of the respondents (55%) stated that they had to reject jobs and / or promotions because they were not compatible with the care and attention given to their family member.

Specifically, 35% admit having to refuse job offers, while 20% have been forced to refuse promotions that require more professional dedication.
In this regard, Mesonero comments that: "insufficient conciliation measures suppose a loss of competitiveness for companies, because each person who rejects a job or promotion for this reason is wasted talent." In the XXI century, it is urgent to promote policies of flexibility that allow professionals to give their best without giving up what is most important to them: their family. "

In this respect, 75% demand more measures of flexibility and conciliation to make their professional development compatible with the care of their family.

Reconciliation: a long way

The conciliation policies still have a long way in our country. As shown in the following table, reflecting the answers of the respondents, most of the measures of flexibility are less than 50% implemented. Only the possibility of abandoning the job in the face of family emergencies (75%) and non-working Friday afternoons (67%) have managed to take root in companies in our country.

Marisol Nuevo Espín
Source: Survey Adecco Foundation and Previsora ​​Bilbaína

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