Carers In Work

Three million UK workers provide care but only 34% of employers have any policy in place to support them in the workplace.

It's estimated that three million UK workers are providing care in some form to older parents or dependents, but Just a third of employers (34%) have a formal or an informal policy in place to support carers in their workplace according to a new survey published by CIPD/Westfield Health research.

The number of employed carers is expected to rise, with estimates suggesting that 3 in 5 people will end up caring for someone at some point in their lives. The report finds that the problem is particularly prevalent in the private sector, where just 11% of organisations offer line manager training, 18% have a formal, written policy aimed at supporting working carers, and only one in five (20%) know how many working carers they employ.
The survey found that, of those organisations that do support working carers, almost half (45%) think the steps they have taken have made a positive difference to their organisation’s culture. This figure rises to 66% of organisations which have a policy in place geared towards the needs of carers.

The five top reasons why organisations support carers at work are:
•    it’s the right thing to do as a good employer (65%);
•    it improves work-life balance (60%);
•    it improves employee morale/engagement (58%);
•    it improves retention (53%);
•    and it reduces absenteeism (50%).

When working carers were asked which approach they would prefer if their organisation took steps to support them at work, 62% voted for minimal involvement in their personal lives, in which employees with caring responsibilities are empowered and given permission to respond as they need.

Employers are being urged to put mechanisms in place to empower and support working carers, before they lose out on key talent. The Report makes recommendations for employers which include:
•    Create and promote a flexible working policy that is responsive to the needs of people with caring responsibilities
•    Create and nurture a culture that is inclusive and supportive of working carers
•    Offer Guidance or signpost working carers to external sources of support, including financial information

Charlton Associates can assist you to draw up a Carers Policy and you can download a sample policy here: [carers policy]

For more information nationally about support for carers see https://carers.org

For local information see http://carersgloucestershire.org.uk
 

 

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Sonia Hutchison, Chief Executive - Carers Centre Bath & NE Somerset 

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