The focus of this report is on highlighting the economic impact of unpaid care - specifically, lost income during working life and the longer-term reduction in accruing superannuation, which affects retirement savings. In economic terms this is called the ‘opportunity cost of caring’.
This follows prior work undertaken for Carers Australia looking at the replacement value of informal care in Australia. A 2020 report found it would have cost $77.9 billion in 2020 alone, and before COVID-19 impacts, to replace the care provided by carers with formal paid services, such as those accessed via My Aged Care or the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).
It is important to note that the findings and options presented in this report are only one component to address the barriers and long-term impacts on carers’ financial and economic security. Carers also need to be supported and enabled to participate in employment, education and training without affecting those who are not eligible for carer subsidies, or who choose to or cannot work whilst they undertake their caring role.