As we approach the New Year and consider resolutions and new beginnings, maybe it’s also time to look at your organisation and consider what improvements could be made for the future of your workforce.

There is a simple change you could make to help over 10% of your staff. Your organisation would become more productive, reduce sickness and absenteeism, improve staff retention and enhance your reputation for being an employer of choice. This could save you money rather than cost you money. And the change…Sign up to Leeds Commitment to Carers.

As many as one-in-nine people in the workforce are balancing work with providing unpaid care to a family member of friend who couldn’t manage without their help because of illness, disability or frailty.  An aging population combined with changes in retirement age means that the demographic of caring is changing and increasing numbers of people are juggling work and providing unpaid care.  You are more likely to be in this position if you are aged between 40 and 64 and of course this is an age group where people have often developed significant skills and have accumulated a wealth of professional experience.  Losing them would equal a loss to your organisation well over and above the costs of replacing them.

The good news is Leeds City Council and Carers Leeds can help you. We are at the forefront nationally of developing work to support employers to be carer-aware.  Leeds City Council are members of the Employers for Carers network and are able to share best practice resources.  Carers Leeds coordinate the Leeds Working Carers Employers Community which meets regularly to share good practice and to generate new and innovative approaches to supporting working carers.

Both organisations are also key members of the Leeds Carers Partnership who have developed The Leeds Commitment to Carers.  In simple terms this sets out what Leeds will be like if it is the best city for carers and since 75% of carers in Leeds are working age, employers have a big part to play in making the commitment a reality.  Making a commitment is easy, it doesn’t need to take a long time and it doesn’t have to cost anything.  What we are looking for are solid and practical actions that organisations will commit to in order to be better at identifying and supporting carers.

To sign up and for more information, contact Ian Brooke-Mawson

Ian Brooke-Mawson

Strategic Commissioning Manager (Carers)

Leeds City Council (Adult Social Care) & NHS Leeds Clinical Commissioning Groups