Friday 4 March marks Employee Appreciation Day, a time to thank and recognise staff for their hard work and loyalty. Ideally this should be done all year round and I have worked in many organisations that do say thank you, which to me, means a lot. What I also really appreciate is flexibility; the workplaces that have allowed me to flex my hours or working days to fit around parental responsibilities and now, caring responsibilities.

Not having to worry about asking for time off for medical appointments or having to take this time as annual leave is a huge relief when you are already feeling concerned about a forthcoming hospital appointment. I have no issue with making this time up (even though it is not asked of me) as I am happy to repay the favour.

Time is a precious commodity and to me this is the biggest thank you that you can give to staff. From my experience, employers that offer some degree of flexibility and understanding get this repaid tenfold, their staff are motivated, hardworking and loyal. It’s also fantastic PR, people talk; they will often bad mouth the organisation they work for and sing praises of workplaces that are flexible and understanding.  

If you are wondering how you can show appreciation to your staff, consider the gift of time and understanding. For people working while also looking after a relative that relies on them, having a carer friendly place of work is one less thing to worry about. Working provides some relief from the challenges of caring, a chance to be themselves and have a life outside of being a Carer.

You may not even realise that some of your colleagues have caring responsibilities. In fact, 1 in 7 of the workforce in the UK are juggling caring responsibilities with work.1 You may not be a Carer or have many people working at your organisation who are Carers but the reality is, at some point in your life you will become a Carer to a family member or even need care yourself. Every day, another 6,000 people take on a caring responsibility – that equals over 2 million people each year2.

Putting Carer Friendly Employer commitment plans in place is a great way of showing your staff you appreciate them. Wherever your organisation is on the road to being Carer Friendly, Forward Carers can help. You can openly show appreciation to your current and future staff by displaying the Carer Friendly Employer Commitment Mark. Find out more here or contact

Written by a
A Forward Carers Employee

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