Positive and Negative Consequences of Balancing Paid Work and Informal Family Care: A Survey in Two Different Sectors


In The Netherlands about 70% of informal caregivers combine their caregiving activities with paid employment, and thus have to manage the boundaries between work and family roles. Our cross-sectional study examined whether employed informal caregivers differ from non-caring colleagues with respect to negative and positive spillover effects, health and work-related outcomes, use of formal support arrangements and experiences with a supportive work environment. Participants were recruited from a large healthcare and a financial company. Quantitative data were collected by self-administered questionnaire. Highly statistically significant, bidirectional, differences were seen with respect to work-family conflict and enrichment, but only in the health care company. In both companies health-related outcomes were scored lower among employees with family caregiving tasks. Work-related outcomes and experiences of formal and informal organizational support and hindrance were evenly distributed. Integration of professional and informal caregiving roles might explain the bidirectional blurring of boundaries between work and family.

Keywords: Employment, Informal Caregiving, Role Integration, Spillover, Work-Family Conflict, Work-Family Enrichment

Article Review Status: Published

Pages: 59-76 (Download PDF)

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