The role of ‘replacement care’ in supporting working carers

4 May 2020

Dr Derek King and Nicola Brimblecombe, London School of Economics


Recent UK government legislation has instituted policies to enable people to combine being in employment and providing unpaid care to family members and friends who need help due to disability or frailty. While a lot of policy focusses on flexible working, there is also an emphasis on paid services for people with care needs to support working carers; termed ‘replacement care’.

We undertook primary and secondary data analyses to assess the effectiveness of ‘replacement care’ in supporting working carers. Analysis included a longitudinal study in which we collected both quantitative and qualitative data. We found clear evidence that paid services enabled working carers to remain in work. Working carers identified issues of quality and availability among key barriers to receipt of services. This stream of work also involved an estimate of the public expenditure costs associated with carers leaving employment in England.

Speakers' biographies

Dr Derek King

Dr Derek King is an Assistant Professorial Research Fellow at the Care Policy and Evaluation Centre at the London School of Economics & Political Science. Dr King’s current research emphases are demand and financing of long-term social care and cost-effectiveness analysis of health and social care interventions. He has collaborated with colleagues at the Care Policy and Evaluation Centre on a programme of work relating to unpaid care. Among the research undertaken within this programme were studies looking at the current and future demand for, and supply, of unpaid care, the role of public social care services to support carers remaining in employment, the role of adult social care services in improving employment, education outcomes and the wellbeing of young carers.

Nic Brimblecombe

Nic Brimblecombe is Assistant Professorial Research Fellow in the Care Policy and Evaluation Centre, London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). Her main research focus is on unpaid/informal care, and she has recently started a study of unmet need for care and the impact on carers. Other work to date has incuded studies of unpaid care and paid employment, young adult carers, and support for carers. Her other main research areas are young people’s mental health, impacts over the lifecourse, and health inequalities.

Relevant papers

Brimblecombe, N., Pickard, L., King, D. & Knapp, M. (2016) ‘Perceptions of unmet needs for services in England: A comparison of working carers and the people they care for’. Health and Social Care in the Community. Online version doi: 10.1111/hsc.12323

Brimblecombe, N., Pickard, L., King, D. & Knapp, M. (2017) ‘Barriers to receipt of social care services for working carers and the people they care for in times of austerity’. Journal of Social Policy, 47(2), 215–233. doi:10.1017/S0047279417000277

Brimblecombe, N., Fernandez, JL, Knapp, M., Rehill, A. & Wittenberg, R. (2018) ‘Review of the international evidence on support for unpaid carers’, Journal of Long-Term Care, September, 25–40. doi:10.21953/lse.ffq4txr2nf

Pickard, L., Brimblecombe, N., King, D., and Knapp, M. (2018) ‘‘Replacement Care’ for Working Carers? A Longitudinal Study in England, 2013–15’. Social Policy & Administration, 52, 690– 709. doi:10.1111/spol.12345

Pickard, L., King, D., Brimblecombe, N., & Knapp, M. (2018) ‘Public expenditure costs of carers leaving employment in England, 2015/2016’ Health and Social Care in the Community, 26(1), 132–142