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A day in the life of a care and support worker

This project used time diaries to investigate the working time of disability support workers providing home and community support.

Supported by ARC project grants DE160100543 and DP110102963

Project Duration: 2019 – 2020

Many disability support workers provide support to people in private homes and in the community, travelling between work sites. Low pay and undervaluation of work are problems for these mainly women workers. Irregular, fragmented and short hours’ working time patterns contribute to insecurity in work, work-life problems and low pay.

This research uses time diaries and interviews to obtain detailed data on workers’ time during the working day and their paid and unpaid work. Days typically comprise several short paid ‘shifts’, interspersed with periods of unpaid time, making workdays long with lots of unpaid ‘dead’ time in between paid shifts. Workers experience a lot of ‘time out of life’ and the accumulation of unpaid work time.

Watch our short video Day in the Life of a Care and Support Worker

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Read our Day in the Life Project Research and Policy Brief here:

Key People

  • Fiona Macdonald
  • Eleanor Bentham
  • Jenny Malone

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