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Supporting employees with caring responsibilities

Author: Katherine Wilson


  • Employers that support carers can help them to balance their work and caring commitments, which is likely to have a positive effect on the bottom line. (See The business case for engaging carers)
  • Many employees do not identify themselves as a carer. Employers should encourage employees to inform them about their caring responsibilities. (See Identifying carers)
  • Where employers have a classification system for carers, this can help line managers to identify who has caring responsibilities and what their support needs are. (See Classifying employees as carers)
  • Employers should put together a policy on carers to demonstrate their support for them and set out the practical arrangements that are in place to support them. They should raise awareness about the organisation's support for carers on a regular basis. (See Carers policy and Communicating the organisation's support for carers)
  • Line managers are key to making carer-friendly policies work. Training and supporting line managers can help them to understand the importance of engaging carers and how to help them. (See Training and supporting line managers)
  • Creating a workplace culture that engages carers requires the support of senior management. (See Leading from the top)
  • Flexible working arrangements are key to helping carers meet their work and caring responsibilities. (See Flexible working)
  • Flexible leave schemes can help carers to manage the unpredictability of care, because some crises will occur without warning. However, sometimes carers can plan leave, which can help to reduce the number of unplanned absences. (See Flexible leave arrangements)
  • Accessing relevant information is a priority for employees with caring responsibilities, particularly when they are new to caring. Employers could put together a carers guide for this purpose. (See Information, advice and guidance)
  • Where carers support one another, they are likely to feel less isolated. Carers can also be a useful source of information for colleagues with caring responsibilities. (See Peer-to-peer support)
  • Employers can engage carers by offering them benefits, for example care vouchers to pay for care. (See Benefits)
  • Organisations exist that help employers to support employees who are carers, including by providing training to employees and managers on caring issues. (See Support for employers)