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Carers Australia NSW: Male Carer Policy Statement

Many men across Australia care for family members or friends, but male carers are not often recognised and may therefore receive less support. Carers NSW aims to increase awareness and recognition of male carers within families, communities, workplaces and service systems.

Carers Australia NSW

 

Overview

Around 44% of carers in NSW are male. They tend to be older than female carers and more likely than females to be caring for a spouse. The second most common caring arrangement among male carers is caring for a parent.

Key Issues:

  • Recognition: Historically informal care has been seen as a woman's territory, but women's growing workforce participation and increasing overall life expectancies have resulted in more men taking on informal caring responsibilities.
  • Social Support: Research reveals that male carers frequently seek practical support to assist them with tasks of their caring role, but they may have less access to social and emotional support than female carers, and carer programs often cater better to women.
  • Employment: The Fair Work Act 2009 states that all working carers have the right to flexible work arrangements from their employer. Although awareness of this is increasing among men, the uptake is still relatively low. Gender conventions and stereotypes may mean that some workplaces look more unfavourably on requests for non-standard hours from male employees than female employees. As a result, balancing work and care may be more difficult for male carers as it may affect their career advancement and income potential.

Key Recommendations:

  • 1. Greater recognition of gender diversity in policy and legislation to ensure that services and programs are inclusively designed.
  • 2. Research and consultation to find out more about male carers, their caring situations and their support needs.
  • 3.Targeted outreach to male carers, using language, images, information sources and communication channels that appeal to men.
  • 4.Tailored support services that account for gender differences in service use and preferences
  • 5. Increased workplace flexibility and support for carers of all genders.

Resources Available

 

 

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