Sydney, 19 February 2019

Hosted by CEPAR and CIRCLE*

The University of Sydney CEPAR team co-hosted an international symposium on Work and Care in Sydney on Tuesday 19 February 2019.

The primary aim of the symposium was to achieve an understanding of the issues affecting working carers in a number of countries (particularly in the UK and Australia), their national policies, and to identify opportunities for future collaborations to research solutions.

The symposium was chaired by Professor Marian Baird (Chief Investigator CEPAR and University of Sydney) and participants came from: Carers UK, Massey University (NZ), Michigan State University (USA), University of Manchester (UK), University of Sheffield (UK), University of Copenhagen (Denmark), University of Sydney, University of NSW and University of WA.

Participants heard presentations on a number of issues.

Professor Sue Yeandle, Principle Investigator “Sustainable Care Project” at the University of Sheffield (UK) spoke on Combining Work and Care: Workplace Support And Its Contribution To Sustainable Care Arrangements. Her research in investigating:

  • What constitutes good workplace support for carers in employment?
  • What is the impact of this support on carers, employers, care users, and care workers?
  • What are its costs and benefits for employers?
  • What are the key features of ‘workplace standard’ and ‘employer recognition schemes’, and what do they contribute?
  • What are the characteristics, impact, uptake and outcomes of:
    • UK employers’ voluntary care leave schemes?
    • Statutory paid care leave schemes outside the UK?

Madeleine Starr, Director of Business Development & Innovation with Carers UK, outlined the Sustainable Care Research Programme, focusing on work and care, which commenced in November 2017. The Programme is collaborating with the UK interest-group Employers for Carers to better understand work-care issues. Employers for Carers research has found that what working carers want most is support from both within and outside their workplaces, as they typically feel isolated in the workplace. The research has also identified a number of business benefits to employers of supporting their workers who are carers. However employers report they need help with supporting carers in the workplace and help with support outside the workplace.

Andreea Constantin from CEPAR’s University of Sydney team provided an outline of the CEPAR (Stream 3) Mature Workers in Organisations research framework. Stream 3 is underway with its research, with a large-scale survey of mature-aged Australian workers about to commence, followed by more targeted employer organisational surverys.

Alison Williams, also from CEPAR’s University of Sydney team, gave a presentation on the Australian regulatory framework which applies to mature-aged workers. Stream 3 researchers will be using this framework to conduct reviews of policies affecting mature-aged workers at the individual organisational level.

CEPAR’s Associate Professor Kate O’Loughlin from the University of Sydney presented on The Rights of Carers in the Context of Work.

Professor Peter Berg of Michigan State University (USA) gave a presentation on Human Capital Pipelines and the Aging Workforce: Determinants of Site-level Aging Issues. His research is investigating how organisations respond to workforce aging with human resource management practices, using data from US and German manufacturing companies.

More information

For more information about this symposium contact:

Alison Williams
Research Associate, CEPAR
University of Sydney

*CIRCLE: Centre for International Research on Care Labour and Equalities (UK)

Symposium in action