There is a growing number of carers in the workplace – this is something that employers are becoming increasingly aware of. This report by the Chartered Institute of Personnel Directors, acknowledges the need for employers to recognise this increase in numbers of carers and the impact it’s having on both employer and employee.
Over a quarter of employers have a formal written policy and some have an informal verbal policy aimed at the needs of carers, but 38% of employers don’t have a policy or plans to develop one. The report informs us that approximately half of employers offer flexibility around working hours and broader support to carers. Also around half of employers offer flexible leave arrangements, opportunities to make private calls (32%) and some organisations offer counselling. However, more organisations need to identify numbers of carers in the work place and offer training to managers in supporting carers.
It is noted that private sector employers are significantly less likely to have policies supporting carers than those in the public sector.
The report recommends: the implementing of comprehensive carers policies; fostering an open and inclusive culture when employees feel supported. It also recommends that Government should encourage wider debate about the importance of supporting carers in the workplace.
Carers Leeds is currently developing links to large employers in Leeds to raise awareness of issues and problems faced by carers in the workplace and we are offering training, particularly to carers of people with dementia, in how best to cope with the stresses of being a working carer.