This website uses cookies

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience. By using our website, you agree to our Privacy Policy

Carers in the legal sector struggle alone

Carers in the legal sector struggle alone


New research reveals overwhelming impact on work, physical wellbeing, and mental health

A recent study has highlighted the significant challenges faced by legal professionals with caregiving responsibilities, shedding light on the profound impact these duties have on their careers and personal well-being. The report, produced by international law firm RPC in collaboration with Next 100 Years and LawCare, reveals that 82% of legal professionals with caring responsibilities have been juggling their career and role as carers for an average of four and a half years. A staggering 66% have been doing so with no support or only unpaid help.

Key Findings:

  • Lack of Employer Support: Nearly half (48%) of the respondents had to take annual leave due to the absence of alternative carer support from their firms.
  • Impact on Career Progression: 57% of respondents believe their caregiving role negatively affects their career progression, while 54% say it impacts their work generally.
  • Mental and Physical Health: Over three-quarters (77%) reported a negative impact on their mental health, and 70% noted an adverse effect on their physical health.

Voices from the Community:

Rachel Pears, a 'sandwich-carer' and Head of Responsible Business at RPC, emphasises the dual challenges faced by carers: "Balancing a demanding legal career with caregiving responsibilities requires firms to foster inclusive and supportive cultures. By implementing policies that address the unpredictable and emotional nature of caring, legal professionals can thrive in their careers while fulfilling their caregiving roles, receiving the support they need to succeed in both areas."

Elizabeth Rimmer, Chief Executive of LawCare, highlights the mental toll: "I was struck by 77% of respondents reporting that their mental health had been negatively impacted by their caring responsibilities. We need to implement working practices that support the mental wellbeing of everyone and address the inequalities faced by those with caring responsibilities to ensure they have an equal chance to reach their potential and contribute positively to the legal sector."

Embracing Carers Week 2024 Theme: 'Putting Carers on the Map'

The report aims to bring visibility to the unique challenges faced by carers in the legal profession and advocates for robust support systems within firms. By addressing these multifaceted challenges, firms can ensure that employees do not have to choose between their careers and caregiving responsibilities.


  • Foster Inclusive Cultures: Encourage firms to create policies that support carers, such as flexible working arrangements and additional leave options.
  • Promote Employer Support: Ensure that carers are aware of and feel comfortable utilising the support provided by their firms.
  • Normalise Flexible Work: Advocate for the acceptance of part-time and flexible working patterns to accommodate carers' needs.
  • Support Mental Wellbeing: Implement practices that address the mental health challenges faced by carers, ensuring they feel valued and supported.

The report’s findings underscore the importance of comprehensive support for carers in the legal sector, ultimately leading to a more inclusive, sustainable, and thriving professional environment.