Employees who are Carers
Around six thousand people become unpaid carers of their loved ones every day in the UK.
All you need to know in 30 seconds
- Caring duties can slowly become more demanding over time, or can happen suddenly - in both cases these duties can impact heavily on the carer’s work.
- Employees may not tell you they are a carer, as they worry it will impact on their career.
- Being a carer can lead to health problems as they may become more mentally or physically exhausted over time, but providing support can prevent this.
- If you learn your employee is a carer, start a conversation with them and find out what support might be useful to them, such as flexibility at work.
- Consider the impact that caring has on the mental health of your employee - they may need support such as counselling.
- Make yourself aware of the Board's Special Leave and Work-Life Balance policies, and guidance for carers, and communicate these to your team. Where further support is required you or your employee can contact Occupational Health or the human resources support & advice unit for information.
All you need to know in detail
Often this happens slowly, becoming more demanding over time as illnesses progress. Occasionally people will become carers suddenly due to incidences such as accidents or strokes.
Sometimes employees may be afraid to admit to their managers that they are carers outside of work, as they worry it will impact on their career. They may prefer to keep things quiet and carry on with little help. However caring duties can cause health problems as the carer may become more mentally or physically exhausted over time, and receiving help and support can prevent this.
As a manager, you should be aware that employees who are carers will require more support, such as working flexibly, agreeing special leave or just talking through their options.
If you find out your employee is also a carer, start a conversation with them and discuss support options available - they may just need some flexibility in working hours or other arrangements such as emergency planning and time off work.
You should also consider the mental and physical health of your employees who are carers, as caring can be very demanding. Find out what support your employee needs and refer them to appropriate services, such as local support groups – refer to the Carers Guidance on HRConnect for more information.
Make yourself aware of the Board's Special Leave and Work-Life Balance policies and guidance for carers, and communicate these to your team. Where further support is required you or your employee can contact Occupational Health or the Human Resources Support & Advice Unit for information.