Economic and social policy implications associated with caring for people with chronic conditions

Stream: Experiences and wellbeing of unpaid carers
Date: Tuesday, 10 September 2019
Time: 10.55 am – 12.35 pm


Due to the challenges of balancing unpaid, informal care and workforce participation, it is well established that carers are more likely to reduce their hours or exit the workforce altogether. While present research has highlighted the impact of lost wages and superannuation on carers, it has tended to generalise about carers rather than considering variation across different types of carers. Given the rise of chronic conditions due to advancements in medical care and population ageing, carers of people with chronic conditions are an increasing population.

Applying the Australian microsimulation model Care&WorkMOD, this presentation will compare data on the lost income of informal carers of people with chronic conditions such as back pain, arthritis, cardiovascular disease and the associated lost revenue to the government in terms of income tax and expenditure on welfare payments. This presentation will also highlight issues created by reform to the disability and aged care sectors impacting the workforce participation of carers of people chronic conditions. Finally, this presentation will address ways in which working carers of people with chronic conditions can be supported to prevent exits from the workforce and to reduce the economic costs associated with such exits.


Sarah Judd-Lam (Presenter), Carers NSW
Sarah Judd-Lam has a background in social policy analysis and social research and currently manages the Policy and Research teams at Carers NSW. Sarah has worked at Carers NSW since 2013, where her focus has been on evidence based systemic advocacy to improve the lives of family and friend carers. She holds a Bachelor of Social Science in Sociology from Macquarie University and a Masters by Research from UNSW.

Melanie Zeppel (Presenter), Macquarie University
Dr Melanie Zeppel works in genomic medicine, data science and microsimulation modelling at GenIMPACT, the National Centre for the Economic Impact of Genomic Medicine at Macquarie University. Her multi-disciplinary research spans modelling costs and benefits of genomic testing, and preimplantation genetic diagnosis for childhood cancer, retinoblastoma, vision impairment and other conditions. Projects also include costs of informal care of chronic conditions on workforce productivity, particularly from a gendered viewpoint.