Currently 3 million people in the UK juggle paid work with unpaid caring responsibilities – 1 in 9 people in any workforce. This issue is also likely to become even more important in the next few years; the Government’s Refresh of the National Carers Strategy: Recognised, Valued and Supported acknowledges that by 2017, we will reach the tipping point when the numbers of older people needing care will outstrip the numbers of working age family members. Research by Carers UK and Ipsos (MORI) indicates that as many as 1 in 6 carers give up, or cut back work, to care. This is generating an unwelcome financial impact on businesses faced with losing skilled employees in whom they have already made a considerable investment.
Caring is an issue which faces all of us. Changing demographics and an ageing population mean that 3 in 5 people will end up caring for someone at some point in their lives. The number of carers in the UK is set to grow from 6 million to 9 million in the next 30 years. This is an issue none of us can afford to ignore.
Joining Employers for Carers can help your organisation identify the needs of carers in the workplace, to outline the business case for their support and to provide practical and sustainable ways in which you can support them and their managers.
East Sussex County Council, in partnership with Southdown, are able to offer SME’s in East Sussex free membership to Employers for Carers, a membership forum of employers – large and small – chaired by British Gas and supported by the specialist knowledge of Carers UK who are rising to the challenge of supporting carers in their workforce.
Benefits of membership
The actual membership offer to employers provides:
- Resource pack including: an employer’s guide which provides information on relevant legislation, practical tips and the business benefits of supporting carers at work; a carer’s guide for employees; a guide to the right to request flexible working; a manager’s handbook with practical information and support for line managers.
- Dedicated website with password access for EfC members to a range of online practical resources including: EfC electronic guides as above; benchmarking tool; sample policies; good practice examples and case studies; information on key workplace issues including FAQs; toolkits and tips; information on the business case.
- Latest information about legal and employment policy through e-bulletins and briefings
- Networking and learning from the practical experience of other employers at EfC member events.
- Resources for employees including free access to all EfC electronic guides and information on the website; complimentary online membership of Carers UK for employees who wish to take this up; and tailored lunch and learn sessions with an opportunity for individual advice sessions.
- Access to expert consultancy and training
- Latest news on innovations and technologies to support working carers
Ten examples of practical ways in which we support our members:
- Awareness raising activities (through published information or events) to encourage employees to identify themselves as carers and come forward for support.
- Awareness raising activities with line managers to promote understanding of caring.
- Training and supporting line managers to implement carer friendly policies.
- Engaging with carers in the workforce including developing and supporting staff carer networks (including online networks).
- Signposting employees to sources of workplace and external support.
- Providing specific information for employees on caring matters including health and disability issues, care and support services, housing, benefits and pensions.
- Building consideration of carers into staff recruitment and retention practices.
- Reviewing and ‘carer proofing’ current policies and practice.
- Establishing clearly identifiable sources of support and champions within the workplace.
- Monitoring and measuring outcomes and business benefits.
For more information on the free offer to SME’s in East Sussex please contact Paul Turk from Southdown on 07805 811186, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org