Supporting working carers

On the 9th and 10th November we will be at the CIPD Annual Conference and Exhibition telling visitors about our exciting portfolio of products and bringing our New Dawn of Corporate Healthcare to life.

We are also co-presenting with the CIPD themselves at a showcase session entitled Enabling Carers in the Workplace. Here we will discuss the recent research which looked at how better to support and retain the rapidly increasing numbers of workplace carers.

As we reported previously, just a third of employers (34%) have a formal, written policy or an informal, verbal policy in place to support working carers in their workplace. With estimates suggesting that 3 in 5 people will end up caring for someone at some point in their lives, employers are being urged to put mechanisms in place to empower and support working carers, before they lose out on key talent.

This is according to new CIPD/Westfield Health research which finds that almost two-fifths (38%) of employers do not have any policies in place to support working carers, or plans to develop one. The report also finds that just 13% of organisations offer line manager training to support working carers, suggesting that no action is being taken to accommodate those with caring responsibilities on any level. The problem is particularly prevalent in the private sector, where just 11% of organisations offer line manager training, 18% have a formal, written policy aimed at supporting working carers, and only one in five (20%) know how many working carers they employ.

Westfield Health’s Executive Director, David Capper, said: “More than three million workers in the UK are providing informal care to older parents or dependents, and this figure is expected to rise, as many more employees are likely to find themselves in the ‘sandwich generation’ – balancing working commitments with caring for older family members and looking after their own children. Caring not only impacts heavily on employees’ working lives, particularly in terms of health and wellbeing, but can also seriously affect employers through rising levels of absence and falling levels of productivity.

“With so many UK workers now facing these struggles, working carers need to be on every employer’s agenda. It’s clear from this research that many haven’t yet fully recognised the impact of this demographic shift, but they must understand the need to address this issue and put in place mechanisms to support them.”

CIPD has produced an infographic illustrating the research results, which can be seen below.

Supporting working carers

You can download the full research report by clicking here.

At Westfield Health, we have invested in a technological solution that can give working carers some peace of mind while they are out of contact with their loved ones.

3rings is a smart plug designed to reduce the worry that families have about their ageing family or friends by answering the question “Is my loved one OK today?”

With a frequently used appliance connected to the 3rings plug, whenever the appliance is used, 3rings ‘listens’ for activity and, using a mobile signal, lets you and your family or friends know that your loved one is OK, or whether no activity has been detected.

You can find out more about 3rings here. We will also be demonstrating the technology on our stand at CIPD (stand F90).

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