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Carer Friendly Employers

Without support, working Carers are more likely to experience workplace stress and to leave work or reduce their hours.

In any workforce there’s likely to be one person out of every seven employees who will be juggling their work with looking after a family member or a friend.

Creating Carer Friendly Workplaces 

One in seven workers in the UK also carry out an unpaid caring role supporting a family member or friend, these are known as working Carers.

You probably won’t know who they are and they may not have said anything to their colleagues.

But when they go home after a day’s work, they will be looking after, or caring, for a family member or friend who could not manage without their support. They might look after someone who is elderly, or someone with a physical disability, long term health condition, mental health issue or a problem with substance misuse. This is on top of what the rest of us do when we go home after work and in addition to the other responsibilities and interests we all have in our lives.

Without support, working Carers are more likely to experience workplace stress and to leave work or reduce their hours.

Fortunately, our Carer Friendly Employer programme helps employers of all sizes and across all sectors to identify the unpaid Carers in their workforce and provides simple steps to empower Carers to thrive at work alongside their caring role.

  • Challenges for Carers who Work

    At Forward Carers we’re committed to supporting carers in all aspects of their lives. We know that for many juggling work and caring is an everyday challenge.  This is why we champion the work that carers are doing, but also highlight some of the issues that particularly affect them.  For instance:

    • while many carers experience challenges in juggling work and care, many report significant attractions to working and were keen to remain in employment despite the difficulties they faced. Carers cite benefits beyond the financial rewards of work, including social and health benefits, and a sense of respite from caring;
    • For those who remain in paid work, there are other ‘care-related consequences’, such as being obliged to use annual leave to provide care;
    • many carers leave work altogether when they feel they cannot cope any longer, and many more reduce their hours, turn down promotion or take lower paid, flexible work that can fit around their caring responsibilities;
    • for many carers, having to deal with a crisis was the trigger to coming to terms with the growing impact of their caring responsibilities on their working lives. For some, these emergencies had prompted them to realise that they were a carer;
    • carers describe being made to feel guilty or as if they were underperforming, or feeling pressure to compensate for the flexibilities they required as a carer, by working harder;
    • for many carers, the attitudes of managers and other staff were just as an important a factor in their decisions around work and care as were the formal policies in place in their workplace: “The employer offered flexible working but other staff were unhappy about this so I had to give up the job.”
  • The Business Case for Supporting Carers

    Due to a lack of support, up to 1 in 5 working Carers are considering leaving work prematurely, factor in knowledge loss and recruitment costs and employers face a high penalty for failing to help employees balance work and care. An even bigger sum is the £ millions lost each year in reduced productivity at work.
    ‘Presenteeism’ accounts for 1.5 times as much working time lost as absenteeism and costs more to employers because it is more common among higher-paid staff.

    With the average age of working Carers at 45 – 64 years, these may be some of your longest serving or senior staff. Can you afford not to be Carer Friendly?

  • Let us help you become a Carer Friendly Employer

    We can support you to become a Carer Friendly Employer with the Carer Friendly Employer Commitment Mark, a set of five Carer Friendly standards suitable for any organisation in any sector to implement.

    Our straight-forward toolkits and guidance helps you to understand your workforce and supports you to put into place achievable Carer Friendly practices that make a real difference to your staff and your business.

    The Commitment Mark certification is awarded to organisations who achieve or evidence they are working towards the five standards. We also offer workplace consultancy and Carer Friendly Workplace Champion training for employees.

    Find out more here