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How businesses can support unpaid carers in the workplace

Posted onPosted on 14th Oct

An organisation that helps unpaid carers in the workplace is urging more businesses to get involved.

Nottinghamshire Carers Association is hosting a Supporting Unpaid Carers At Work webinar on Friday, 6th November to explain how and why companies should support the unpaid carers in their employment.

Thes online webinar introduces Nottinghamshire Carers Association’s Carers in Employment Initiative and provides an opportunity to learn about the issue of unpaid caring, the statistics of unpaid caring in the UK, the impact on the carer and their employer, and discusses ways in which employers can begin to identify and support the carers in their employment.

The association aims to support and encourage businesses to not only retain those staff who, due to their unpaid caring responsibilities, are at risk of leaving the workforce as a result of stress, ill health, lack of understanding and/or simply lack of time, but also to recruit more carers into employment.

Nottinghamshire Carers Association (NCA) has teamed up with major employers and SMEs to help support unpaid carers in employment.

As part of the Carers in Employment initiative, it is recruiting businesses across Nottinghamshire to sign up to its Carers Pledge and show their commitment to unpaid carers within their organisation.

In signing the pledge, employers will benefit from free training, resources and ongoing support from NCA.

A spokesman said: “Understanding that a one size fits all approach isn’t always feasible, NCA will help to review policies and procedures to enable employers to offer a level of support that is appropriate to their own workplace.”

Providing employees with support to manage their unpaid caring alongside their paid work offers benefits to them, their families and the employer. Examples of such support could be:

• Access to a telephone at work
• Car parking space at/near work
• Flexible working hours
• Unpaid and paid leave
• Career breaks

The spokesman added that organisations that have introduced flexible working and special leave arrangement for carers have judged them a success. Their message is that it makes business sense to care for carers.

Supporting unpaid carers in employment will not only help skilled, experienced staff members to continue in employment and achieve a realistic work/life balance, but also benefits organisations in:

• Attracting and retaining staff
• Reducing stress
• Reducing recruitment and training costs
• Increasing productivity
• Reducing sick and absenteeism
• Improving service delivery
• Producing cost saving
• Increasing staff morale
• Improving people management

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