Our top tips for employers on how you can support the Carers that are employed in your business or organisation
By introducing flexible working policies, you will provide your employees who are Carers a much easier way to juggle their employment with their caring role. Flexible working policies can include: flexible start and finish times, home working, staggered hours, term time working, part time working and flexible holidays.
All employees have the legal right to request flexible working – not just parents and Carers. This is known as making a statutory application.
Employees must have worked for the same employer for at least 26 weeks to be eligible.
We are aware that it may be difficult depending on the type of employment to implement flexible working, however, it is always useful to have a two way conversation with a Carer to best discover how flexible working can be introduced for that particular person. Small adjustments can be beneficial.
Here is a clip developed by Carers UK showcasing Carers talking about the importance of flexible working and how it has helped them.
Carers UK – Your rights in work for carers
Which – Guide to flexible working
There are lots of ways that Carers could be supported from within their place of work. A great way to achieve this can be by introducing a Staff Carer Network. A Staff Carer Network is an internal network within your workplace that is set up to support the employees who are Carers. A Staff Carer Network can be both a source of information for Carers as well as a way to improve their wellbeing and provide an opportunity for peer support.
Staff Carer Networks may include:
- Meeting for a coffee for 20 minutes at a convenient time
- A virtual network on your internal network platform
- The use of a messaging app such as teams
- Part of a formal agenda for workplace meetings
To read more about Staff Carer Networks and to view a short video clip, visit our web page.
It is important for your wider staff network to be Carer aware. By embedding Carer Awareness Training within your organisation you can create a supportive environment by ensuring that all staff members have an understanding of what being a Carer can involve. You may also want to provide Carer Champion training for staff members who are particularly passionate about supporting staff members with caring responsibilities. Or you might want to make sure that your management team are able to have a two way dialogue with Carers.
Having a conversation with your staff who are Carers can mean that you as a manager or colleague develop an understanding of what their caring role involves. For example, are they new to a caring role, or will be caring for a short period of time or a long period of time. This will help to indicate what support they might need.
Finding out about a Carer’s role and responsibilities may help to develop a contingency plan for them and also for you as their employer. An Employer Carer Passport scheme for example provides a straightforward way to discuss and document the flexibility and support a business can give to enable employees to combine caring with work.
It is also reassuring for a Carer to know that their employer is understanding of their situation and for them to feel comfortable approaching a manager or team lead or colleague to discuss any impact their caring role may be having on their life.
To read more about training available visit our web page.
By developing Carer friendly policies you can create a much more accessible and sustainable environment for staff with caring responsibilities. A Carer friendly policy could state that staff members who are Carers are able to keep their mobile phone on them at all times in case of an emergency for example. Or Carer friendly policies could include policies such as flexible working and emergency leave.
Small adjustments can go a long way and can be invaluable to Carers.
Template policies can be accessed and downloaded on the Employers For Carers website efcdigital.org
For free access, contact Every-One.
Promoting support for Carers within your workplace can provide a range of benefits. You can do this by finding out about what services and support are available for Carers and making them accessible for your staff. This could be somewhere at your place at work such as on a staff notice board, or it can be virtual and accessible through your organisations digital network.
Promoting support for Carers within your workplace will ensure that the staff who are Carers will be up to date with information and support which in turn will improve their well being. As well as promoting a supportive environment, this can also lead to the identification of Carers. Staff members may discover that they are Carers through the information that is displayed at their place of work.
Not only can you promote support to Carers within your workplace but you can also get involved in national initiatives and campaigns such as Carers Week and Carers Rights Day. This shows your staff that you are committed to supporting Carers and will improve staff morale as well as show the general public that it is important to you as an organisation.
Visit www.carersweek.org to find out about the annual Carers Week campaign.
Visit www.carersuk.org to find out about Carers Rights Day.
If you would like to discuss any of the above further please contact Every-One by emailing: Julie.Goy@every-one.org.uk or Pete.Hagan@every-one.org.uk