HC Deb 30 October 1995 vol 265 c104W
Mr. Hinchliffe

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what policies she will pursue to enable carers to undertake employment. [38545]

Mr. Paice

The Government recognise that many carers wish to continue in employment, and we encourage this in a number of ways. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Health has published a booklet, "Employers and Carers", which has been distributed widely to employers. The booklet sets out a number of practical measures which employers may take to assist carers to remain in work. In addition, we promote generally an efficient and flexible labour market in which a wide range of working patterns are available. Flexibility and variety in working patterns help carers to find work that best suits their domestic responsibilities.

We are making specific provision in the conditions for jobseeker's allowance to enable carers to restrict their availability for employment in line with their caring responsibilities and remain entitled to an allowance. Caring responsibilities will also be taken into account in any consideration of whether a jobseeker has been seeking work actively. Carers who wish to return to the labour market are in most circumstances eligible to join the wide range of programmes available to help unemployment people back to work, from the first day of unemployment.