Do you Care? For most of my life I have been a carer, and for half of it, I didn't even know.
“When I was young it was 'normal' to look after my Grandmother because we all lived in the same house”.
When I got older we moved out but I still went down to see her, making sure she was okay and having a cuppa.
At first, it was just that, popping in for a chat, checking up on her but it then quickly it turned into something else.
I started making her food, doing the shopping, helping her walk, fetching her things and then washing her, helping her to get on and off the bed, taking her to her hospital appointments and talking to other professionals.
In between all of that and more, I started working with young carers and learned that I was once upon a time I was one of them.
Fast forwarding a few years later I am in my thirties and still caring for my Grandmother as well as working full time, socialising and fitting in time for myself. How do I do this? Well, I have no idea! I just do, but the role of a carer sort of just happened.”
This could be 1 in every 8 of your workforce. From private to public sector, construction industries to fast food chains and in any workplace, you will have come across them - carers.
A carer is anyone who supports a family member, partner or friend who needs help due to illness, frailty, disability, a mental health problem or addiction and cannot cope without their help.
The care they provide is unpaid, unlike a professional healthcare worker. Workplace wellbeing is a hot topic at the moment, yet most managers, employers or colleagues do not understand the pressure of caring for someone and coming to work.
What would you do if your loved one had a medical appointment and needed your help to attend, but your boss expects you to be at work at the same time?
All places of employment should have workplace wellbeing as a part of their agenda or part of their policies.
This can include flexible working, carers leave, working from home and a none judgemental workforce.
Looking after your workforce is not just good for your employees but it makes good business sense. Supporting carers to remain in work could unlock significant economic gains. As well as reversing the losses currently incurred.
A survey carried out by the Task and Finish Group has demonstrated that employers who have policies in place to support carers see improved service delivery, cost savings and increased productivity.
As the population is ageing and people are living longer but not healthy eventually the UK will reach the tipping point for care when the numbers of older people needing care will outstrip the numbers of working-age family members currently available to meet that demand. (Pickard, L 2008)
So as the title of my blog suggests do you care?
Do you look after a loved one? Do you care about the wellbeing of your workforce?
As an employer, colleague or manager.
Forward Carers works with businesses to offer the Working for Carers accreditation scheme including downloadable 'carer-aware' resources, online training, staff discounts and much more.
Our Working for Carer scheme is not just for your employees, it is good for business.
Research shows that supporting staff to effectively juggle their home and work life, and continue in employment holds valuable benefits for business, including:
• Staff Retention
• Reduce Absence
• increased productivity
• Improved Morale
Signing up for Working for Carers allows businesses to care for their whole workforce, extend employee benefits programmes at low cost...and ultimately demonstrate great social corporate responsibility!
If you care - join our network of accredited carer friendly employers and enjoy exclusive perks for your organisation, ultimately demonstrating yourselves as a corporately responsible employer.
We will be hosting an event at the Birmingham Chamber of Commerce on 23rd Jan from 9.30-12 with a whole host of guest speakers and more information.
Please follow the link here to book your FREE ticket.