Several recent studies have documented a negative relationship between informal care-giving and labour market attachment in Great Britain. This paper examines the relationship from a longitudinal perspective using data from the Great Britain 1994–95 Family and Working Lives Survey. The first part of the paper studies the timing of informal care-giving to a sick, disabled or elderly person. This information is used in the second part to examine the effects of caring on employment. The results show that most carers look after only one dependant during their lives, and only around one-fifth to one-third look after a second dependant before the age of 65 years. Of all informal carers, about one-third had not been employed when they started caring for the first time in their lives, another third said that caring had no effect on their work arrangements, and about one-third reported one or several effects on their work arrangements, most commonly that they stopped working. Multivariate analyses show that semi-routine and routine manual workers report the strongest effects of care-giving. Part-time workers were more likely than full-time workers to reduce their hours of paid employment when they started caring.
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