Inequalities in unpaid carer’s health, employment status and social isolation

Publication type

Journal Article


Publication date

November 12, 2022


Providing higher-intensity unpaid care (higher care hours or care within the household) is associated with negative impacts on people's paid employment, mental health and well-being. The evidence of effects on physical health is mixed and carer's social and financial outcomes have been under-researched. The biggest evidence gap, however, is on how outcomes vary by factors other than type or level of care provision, in particular socio-demographic factors. Our study used two waves of data (2017/19 and 2018/2020) from the United Kingdom Household Longitudinal Study for people aged 16 and older. We investigated the effects of providing care for 10 or more hours a week or within the household in interaction with people's socio-demographic characteristics. Outcomes included mental and physical health, social isolation, employment status and earnings. We found that caring responsibilities interacted with gender, ethnicity, socio-economic status (as measured by highest educational qualification), or age to affect carers differentially in a number of areas of their lives leading to, and exacerbating, key disadvantages and inequalities.

Published in

Health and Social Care in the Community






Online Early

Open Access

© 2022 The Authors. Health and Social Care in the Community published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.



Latest findings, new research

Publications search

Search all research by subject and author


Researchers discuss their findings and what they mean for society


Background and context, methods and data, aims and outputs


Conferences, seminars and workshops

Survey methodology

Specialist research, practice and study

Taking the long view

ISER's annual report


Key research themes and areas of interest