Millions of people combine paid work with their caring responsibilities and the pandemic has made juggling work and care more visible to employers.
Carers should be able to work in an environment that supports them and recognises their role as a carer. This can be achieved through formal policies and procedures, as well as supportive informal arrangements, with the help and understanding of colleagues and managers.
With many working carers having to take on additional caring responsibilities during the COVID-19 pandemic, it is vital that working carers are supported to balance work and care.
This Carers Week, we are asking employers to raise awareness of caring and to recognise any unpaid carers in their workforce. There are some simple steps that employers can take to reduce carers’ feelings of isolation and ensure that people are able to balance work with their caring responsibilities:
- Use Carers Week to connect working carers to support available in the workplace and externally. Just talking about caring can help.
- Introduce and promote flexible working policies.
- Introduce paid care leave so that carers are not forced to take annual leave for caring emergencies
- Set up or encourage staff to set up a carers' staff network to connect carers to each other.
- Join the Employers for Carers forum and raise awareness of caring throughout your organisation. Visit Employers for Carers website
You have a vital role in helping your staff juggle work alongside their caring responsibilities and helping promote a carer friendly workplace. For example, you can make it easy for your employees to talk to you about their caring role. This Carers Week, show your support for colleagues who are carers by Adding Your Voice
Better breaks for unpaid carers
Carers have been under extraordinary pressure during the COVID-19 pandemic, with many caring around the clock without access to support.
Thank you to everyone who took part in our campaign, calling on the government to increase funding for carers' breaks.