Working Carers: Some top tips for employers…

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Last week was National Carers Week in the UK.  This should act as a useful reminder to many employers that they should be actively considering this important demographic within their workforce.

As we have previously covered on this blog there are many workers that also double as unpaid carers for an ill or elderly relative or friend in the UK.  Indeed Carers UK estimate that more than 3 million people fall into this category.  This equates to around one in every nine of the UK working population, so it follows that most employers will employ at least some Working Carers*.

The challenges for such employees are many, and our blog post from last year outlines some of the issues which face Working Carers.  The reality is that there is a very real need for employers to do all they can to understand the issues and provide assistance where possible.  Such an approach can represent both a sensible and pragmatic business decision, as well as a genuine opportunity to demonstrate that the employer really does wish to support the entirety of their workforce.

But many employers just don’t know where to start on this journey.  So this document (published by Think Local Act Personal in partnership with ADASS Yorkshire & Humberside) might well prove rather useful.  This report has been developed collaboratively by participants in a series of workshops looking at good practice in this area, and sets out nine top tips for employers.  It is a helpful and practical guide, and we would encourage employers to download and read the full document.

Finally, It would be remiss not to mention that a well-constructed Employee Benefits package can of course assist employers and employees in this regard.  So don’t overlook options such as Flexible Working, Healthcare policies, Employee Assistance Plans (EAP) and Financial Education in the workplace when tackling this issue.  For further information on any of these benefit options please speak to your usual Jelf consultant in the first instance.

Best regards

Steve

* Working Carer:  A Working Carer is someone in full or part-time employment, who also provides unpaid support, or looks after a family member, partner or friend who needs help because of their age, physical or mental illness, or disability.  (Source: Top Tips for Supporting Working Carers

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About the author

Steve Herbert is an award-winning thought leader on Pensions and Employee Benefit issues. His principal aim is better communicating the value and usage of employee benefits to employers. This he has achieved through many (highly successful) seminar series over the last decade, and his regular and widely read blog posts on the subject.
He also acts as a judge in HR and Employee Benefits industry awards, article writer, and product innovator. Steve is a regular contributor to DWP forums and compulsive responder to formal Government Consultations on pension and employee benefit issues. He is occasionally accused of making employee benefits interesting.