What Factors Enable Mid-Life Carers to Re-Enter the Labour Market in New Zealand?

Jeroen J. A. Spijker , Centre d’Estudis Demogràfics (CED), UAB
Fiona Alpass, Massey University (Manawatu campus)
Joanne Allen, Massey University (Manawatu campus)

Substantial care roles during mid-life are typically performed by women and are known to have a negative impact on the probability to be in paid employment. Based on multivariate logistic regression, this article, therefore, analyses potential factors that enable non-employed carers in New Zealand to return to paid employment. To do so, we use data from participants who responded to the 2012, 2014, 2016 and 2018 waves of the New Zealand Health, Work and Retirement study and were not employed during any of the first three of these waves and caregivers throughout. This corresponds to follow-up data for 489 non-employed caregivers (69 of whom had resumed work at follow-up). Preliminary descriptive results show that those who were in paid employment at follow-up were significantly more likely to be female, tertiary educated, non-Maori and not in a marital or de facto relationship. On the other hand, own health and economic living standards do not appear to play a great role in the probability of going back to work, while the 3.9 year lower age of the employed at follow-up is not statistically significant. Our results suggest that despite New Zealand employment legislation allowing all employees to request flexible working arrangements, clear gender, ethnic and educational differences persist.

See extended abstract

 Presented in Session P3. Poster Session Migration, Economics, Environment, Methods, History and Policy