Last month, we had the pleasure of leading an interesting discussion about workplace carers with some very engaged CIPD Bedfordshire and Milton Keynes branch members.
We shared highlights from the recent CIPD and Westfield Health’s research looking at both employer and Carer employee perspectives on the issue.
Discussions with the group revolved around providing provisions and support suitable for a range of different employees with varying needs. Recognition was given for the need for space and permission for carers to respond in ways that best met the needs of their own circumstances.
As we discussed on the evening, there are a broad range of issues that employers can help with, including:
Fluid and flexible ways of working
Quick access to sources of quality information
Acting on opportunities to deploy carers in different areas of the business to develop their skills and afford flexibility
Supporting line managers to work with carers on practical responses to their needs and those of the business
Providing opportunities for networking and peer to peer support
Building confidence to raise issues in a comfortable environment.
The issue of working Carers is of great importance to society, the economy and to organisation’s at large. With the number of working Carers in the UK currently over 3 million and the likelihood that 3 in 5 of us will end up caring for someone in the future (George, 2001), now is the time for action. And, with Carers’ Rights Day just around the corner (November 25th) this is the perfect opportunity to let working Carers know just how much you value them.
GEORGE, M. (2001) It could be you – a report on the chances of becoming a carer. London: Carers UK.