Workers struggle to balance care responsibilities

AN ANNUAL report into Australian working habits has revealed mothers juggling paid work and care responsibilities are still struggling to find work-life balance.

The University of South Australia's Centre for Work plus Life report found almost 20% of Australian employees are caring for an elderly person or someone with a chronic illness or disability.

It found the majority of workers aged over 45 were providing care and assistance to an elderly person, with 70% of men and about 85% of women in this age group reporting they are juggling paid work and caring for an elderly relative or friend.

The centre's acting director Dr Natalie Skinner said on Wednesday it was important government and organisational policies recognised the work-life strains these types of carers faced.

"Our research reveals that many Australian workers are struggling with balancing paid work and caring responsibilities which go beyond those with young children," she said.

"This trend is set to continue as the population ages and people are remaining in the paid workforce for longer."