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Unpaid care in Australia: what's unfair?

There are an estimated 2.7 million unpaid carers in Australia, including over 850,000 'primary carers' to a person with disability. 

These numbers are huge. As Australia's population profile continues to age, we expect the number of unpaid carers having to balance 'work' and 'care', or make tough decisions about exiting the workforce, will grow. 

Unpaid carers aren't considered workers by the Australian government, even though they contribute more than $60 billion to the economy each year. They aren't able to collectively bargain for fairer working conditions, nor can they go on strike. 

If Australia's unpaid carers stopped working for just one week, the Australian Government would have to spend over $1 billion on formal health and social care services. 

Australia's reliance on unpaid carers is unsustainable and unfair. Over two thirds of primary carers are women. Many carers aren't able to get paid work on an equal footing to other Australians. Many older carers retire with less savings. Carers are routinely taken for granted in Australian government policies. 

Young carers also get a raw deal. Many children and young people who provide care to a loved one have poorer educational outcomes and less employment and training opportunities than other Australians. 

Caring Fairly is advocating for vital reforms needed to bring fairness to the hidden world of unpaid care in Australia. 

It’s not fair and carers need our help. Help us take action.