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Carers in the workforce

There are nearly 6 million carers in the UK. Nearly half of them also hold down a paid job.

carer and spacer

What are carers and caring responsibilities?

A carer can be a husband, wife, mother, father, son, daughter, brother, sister or friend who is providing unpaid support to someone so that they can carry on living at home. This support may take many forms. It may be providing personal care, organising doctors or hospital appointments and needing time to take somebody to these, or attending health or social care assessments. The list of tasks is far-ranging and often time consuming.

Becoming a carer may happen gradually, over a period of time, or there may be a more sudden change in circumstances, perhaps following a hospital admission.

If you also have a job, balancing the caring role with your paid job can sometimes be difficult and stressful.

Why does this affect my business?

All businesses strive to be innovative, productive and cost-effective and are reliant on the skills and energy of their workforce to deliver this.

The people that make up that workforce are increasingly dealing with demands upon their energy outside of their workplace. This might include taking on caring responsibilities for a family member or close friend.

At the last Census, over 23,000 residents in Hillingdon identified themselves as carers. This is nearly 10% of the total population - and therefore up to 10% of your workforce. Providing carer support for experienced staff who also have caring responsibilities makes good business sense - retaining skilled employees, rather than bearing the costs of recruitment and training for new staff

The number of carers in the UK is set to rise from 6 million to 9 million over the next 30 years, so the numbers of carers in your workforce is also likely to increase significantly.

Where can I find out more?

"Employers for Carers" was developed by employers who believe that supporting carers is good for business and Members include, for example, PricewaterhouseCoopers, BT and British Gas.

Their website (www.employersforcarers.org) provides valuable information about identifying the needs of carers in the workplace and developing the business case for providing practical and sustainable support.

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Article utilities:  Bookmark and Share Print Print this page Last updated: 25 Jul 2017 at 10:42