How can employers help employees who have responsibility for caring for adult dependants?

There are a number of steps that employers can take to assist and support employees who have elder care responsibilities. For example, employers can:

  • ensure that relevant policies and procedures (for example those on flexible working, equality, harassment and bullying) include elder care issues within their remit;
  • adopt an elder care policy that sets out the support that the employer will give to employees with elder care responsibilities;
  • provide employees with access to confidential advisory services or direct them to external organisations that provide support and advice to people with elder care responsibilities (for example Carers UK and Carers Trust);
  • set up and direct employees to peer-to-peer support groups;
  • train line managers to be supportive towards employees with elder care issues and to adopt a positive and encouraging attitude towards employees who approach them about making an application for a flexible pattern of work;
  • where possible, agree to employees' requests for flexible working, or where this is not possible, consider whether or not there are suitable alternatives to employees' working arrangements; and
  • treat flexible working requests by employees with elder care issues with the same priority as requests by employees with children.