Symposium 7 – Combining work and care: Workplace support and its contribution to sustainable care arrangements

Symposium 7

Combining work and care: Workplace support and its contribution to sustainable care arrangements


Jason Heyes, Professor of Employment Relations, Management School, University of Sheffield, and Sue Yeandle, Professor of Sociology, University of Sheffield, United Kingdom


Kate O’Loughlin, Associate Professor of Ageing, Work and Health, CEPAR/University of Sydney, Australia
Teppo Kröger, Professor of Social and Public Policy, University of Jyväskylä, Finland

Family carers provide the majority of care for older and disabled people who need support around the world, and are central to the sustainability of care systems. They are growing in number; most are of working age and many are employed full-time in addition to providing vital, usually unpaid, care.
This proposed symposium includes papers from Canada, Europe, Japan and Taiwan, with contributions from major research programmes in these countries, where researchers are studying policy and practice developments in support for ‘working carers’. These span a spectrum of interventions and modifications to working practices and cultures. They range from flexible work schemes, innovative advocacy and support arrangements for employees, and different forms of care leave. Some measures have been proposed and supported by workers, trade unions or carers’ organisations; others were introduced by employers. Some are legislated policies, requiring employers to support working carers in specific ways, or entitling employees to vary their employment patterns, or take leave from work to manage a caring role (sometimes with compensation for foregone earnings). In Taiwan, the policy enables families to employ a migrant care worker.
Papers in the session are highly relevant to the conference theme. They focus on how policies are made and implemented, discuss new evidence and analyses – highlighting innovations, convergence, diversity, and advantages/disadvantages – and they distinguish policy rhetoric and ambition from working carers’ lived realities. The discussants will draw on their expertise in this field to critique and contextualise the presenters’ analyses, and to encourage discussion and debate.
The convenors, discussants and presenters are members of an international network linked to the UK ESRC-funded programme: Sustainable Care: connecting people and systems (PI Yeandle), within which Heyes is a team leader responsible for the project, Combining work and care: workplace support and its contribution to sustainable care arrangements.

Panel composition:

1. Kate Hamblin, Research Fellow in Sustainable Care, University of Sheffield, UK and Katja Knauthe, researcher and doctoral student, University of Applied Sciences Zittau-Görlitz, Germany
‘Progress and regression in the compatibility of care and work in the 21st century: an Anglo-German comparison’
2. Allison Williams, Professor & CIHR Research Chair, McMaster University, Hamilton, Canada
‘Achieving a caregiver-friendly workplace standard for Canadian working carers: A partnership approach’
3. Shingou Ikeda, Vice-Senior Researcher, Japan Institute of Labor Policy and Training, Japan
‘Statutory care leave in Japan: policy changes, rationales and their consequences’
4. Li-Fang Liang, A/Professor, Institute of Health & Welfare Policy, National Yang-Ming University, Taiwan
‘Managing work and care without workplace support: does employing a live-in worker fill the gap? The example of Taiwan’