Commission on Care

Fawcett have partnered with The Political Studies Association Research Commission, along with the University of Sheffield, University of Warwick and the Women’s Budget Group to produce The Crisis of Care in Austerity Britain, reporting in September 2016 on the current crisis that is playing out in the delivery of care to older people. Fawcett Chair, Belinda Phipps, and Fawcett Chief Executive, Sam Smethers, are the Commission Co-Chairs.

The research commission will study the situation of people engaged in paid and unpaid care work, and also the well-being of those in their care. Women make up the bulk of the care workforce, which tends to be low paid, and also carry out most of the unpaid care for children and elderly relatives – the care workforce is 80% women, usually paid below living wage and often employed on zero hours contracts. Fawcett has long been concerned that women have borne the brunt of austerity measures affecting these activities, both in terms of job losses and filling the gaps in care from cuts to state-funded services.

The commission will focus on a number of issues, including: (a) an analysis of how care for older people is governed – especially in England – identifying current shortcomings in public policy and areas of market failure; (b) the impact of the experience of caring on paid and unpaid carers and other family members; (c) a concern with how the experience of caring and being cared for plays out within Britain’s black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) and migrant communities (both within BAME households and for those employed in the care sector).

The Commission on Care’s report The Crisis of Care in Austerity Britain is expected in September 2016. You can find out more from the PSA Commission on Care website or follow them on Twitter.