Being a carer can be rewarding, but it comes with the added pressure of money worries, time management and trying to explain to your manager why you were late for work or having to leave early.
In my previous blog, I spoke about workplace wellbeing and the support the managers can offer to their employees. No matter where you work, what industry you are in, carers are everywhere and as an employer, you can help.
The question is that of, do you care? Do you want to help? And why should you help?
Well as I also mentioned in my previous blog I am a carer for my Grandmother and I work full time. I always feel like I am one of those lucky carers because other members of the family help.
As a family, we all share the responsibility of deciding who takes annual leave to cover the hospital appointments, who has to rush off in an emergency and who does all the rest. Sounds simple, doesn’t it…but at times it not and especially if you are employed.
So do you care? I do. Carers rights day is on 30th November!!
This is a chance for all employers to acknowledge the carers in their workforce and really embrace change. Employees are allowed to request flexible working, a meeting with their manager and have the choice to care and work. Most of the time this choice is taken away because a boss, manager or company do not understand what it means to be a carer.
There are over 113,000 carers in Birmingham, can you confidently tell me who your carers are in your workforce?
Also at what point does a carer tell an employer that they are a carer. There are no hard and fast rules as you could do this at the application stage – but what if they don’t interview you? You could do this at interview stage – but what if they don’t employ you? You could do this at the induction stage, but what if they don’t understand? Carers face a world of dilemma and on Carers Rights Day they have a chance to say I care, do you?
My grandma had a bad fall a couple of months ago and life changed for all of us for a few months. The hospital appointments were constant, the talking to doctors was constant and she could not go home, so we were also constrained by visiting times. She had other appointments to attend and as she was already in the hospital we could not cherry pick these appointments. Did I mention my grandmother’s first language is not English?
Well as a family, we tied to juggle this but it got to a point where I needed the odd mornings or afternoons off work. Then came the dread that I would have to talk to my boss and the feeling that they would look at me like I could not do my job. I can do my job and care but I needed flexibility and understating. Well that is exactly what I got with a dose of compassion.
Being a carer can happen to anyone, at any point and for any amount of time. The importance for employers is that if you look after your workforce they will repay this tenfold. A recent study found that 65% of employees would rather have a better boss than a salary increase.
Be ahead of the game and think about what you could do as an employer for the carers in your workforce and keep carers rights day in your diaries. This could be doing something as simple as joining the growing network of accredited Working for Carers employers.
Forward Carers works with businesses to offer the Working for Carers accreditation scheme including downloadable ‘carer-aware’ resources, online training, staff discounts and much more.
Our Working for Carer scheme is not just for your employees, it is good for business. Research shows that supporting staff to effectively juggle their home and work life, and continue in employment holds valuable benefits for business, including:
- Staff Retention
- Reduce Absence
- increased productivity
- Improved Morale
Signing up for Working for Carers allows businesses to care for their whole workforce, extend employee benefits programmes at low cost…and ultimately demonstrate great social corporate responsibility!
If you care – join our network of accredited carer friendly employers and enjoy exclusive perks for your organisation, ultimately demonstrating yourselves as a corporately responsible employer.
We will be hosting an event at the Birmingham Chamber of Commerce on 29th Jan from 9.30-12 with a whole host of guest speakers and more information. Please follow the link below to book your FREE ticket.