Introducing Katherine Stone from Carers NSW

Katherine Stone is the Executive Manager Policy, Education and Research at Carers NSW. Katherine joins us at the 3rd Annual Australian Long-Term Unemployment Conference and will present on the topic of ‘Willing to Work but Doubly Discriminated: the experiences of mature age carers’.

A carer is anyone who provides unpaid care and support to a family member or friend who has a disability, mental illness, drug and/or alcohol dependency, chronic condition, terminal illness or who is frail.

Overcoming the barriers to work for older Australians requires an understanding of care and must address the issues that face those who have a caring role in their personal lives. Data from a recent state wide survey of carers in NSW shows that many older Australians, although retired’ have in fact exited the workforce in order to provide care most often to ageing parents, or to spouses with illness, disability or issues of ageing. Many older Australians who would like to work, have spent years excluded from the labour market because of a caring role and now find themselves attempting to overcome the double barriers of discrimination regarding their age and their care role, on their re-entry to the workforce.

Using data from two large state wide surveys, this paper will explore the issues facing mature age carers who are seeking to re-enter the workforce. It will present the argument that addressing the issue of discrimination against mature age workers alone, will not resolve the barriers to work experienced by older Australians. Employers and broader employment policies must also address the issue of care and of how to.  The paper will provide suggestions for policy and practice solutions based on Carers NSW research and experiences.

For more information on the 3rd Annual Australian Long-Term Unemployment Conference and to secure your registration visit the conference website today.