Two-thirds of UK firms don’t offer support to working carers

Research has revealed that as many as two-thirds (66 per cent) of UK employers do not offer any formal or informal support for working carers, reports Personnel Today.

The research, which was carried out by national charity Carers UK, found that only one-third (34 per cent) of UK employers have a formal or informal policy in place to assist working carers - defined by those who spend at least part of their spare time caring for elderly or infirm friends or family.

The statistic is most alarming, according to the charity, because an estimated three in five people will require care from a family member or friend at some point in their lives. Furthermore, 38 per cent of employers taking part in the research stated that not only do they not have a policy to assist care workers but they also have no intention of putting one in place at any point in the near future.

Other key figures that came from the research include: only 13 per cent of UK employers provide their line managers with the appropriate training to assist working carers within their organisation; and 45 per cent of those that do offer support for working carers said that it had a positive impact on their organisation's culture.

Claire McCartney, the research adviser for talent planning at the CIPD, commented on the Carers UK report: “Caring is such a broad term, and there are often blurry lines between those who view themselves as carers and those who see themselves as simply doing their duty.

“Some might not declare themselves as carers at work because they are worried about being treated differently, or they might be concerned that reducing their hours or asking for flexible working could impact negatively on their career progression.

“The onus is on employers to create and promote policies and initiatives in the workplace that empower working carers, sending employees a clear message that their organisation will support them.”

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