The government has asked the Productivity Commission to look into the merits and economic impacts of providing employees with unpaid carers’ leave when they are caring for older friends or relatives living at home.
The study will also look at the different employment models used in aged care.
The inquiry is part of the government’s response to the recommendations made in the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety’s final report.
“Informal carers are a critical element of the care system for older people,” said Treasurer Josh Frydenberg, Aged Care Minister Greg Hunt and Aged Care Services Minister Richard Colbeck in a joint statement.
“Partners, children and other relatives not only provide care but help seniors maintain their social and community connections.
“While Carer Payment and Carer Allowance are available to people who spend a considerable amount of time providing informal care, carers may be forced to choose between their caring role and their jobs or careers.
“The Productivity Commission inquiry will help us better understand whether unpaid leave would improve carers’ wellbeing and make it easier for them to maintain the care relationship.”