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03 Apr 2024
by Stephanie Leung

How employers can gain an edge by offering carer-friendly benefits

With more and more people set to become carers as the population ages, businesses need to help employees manage these demands in conjunction with their working life

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Globally, populations are ageing.

But people aren’t just living longer, they are also working longer too - with more of us set to become working carers in our lifetime as a result.

According to CarersUK, one in five people in the workforce are also carers, totalling 7.6 million people in the workplace who are juggling both work and adult caring responsibilities.

  • By the time someone is 50, they have a 50% chance of becoming a carer in the workplace
  • 40% of carers in the UK are under the age of 40
  • Employees in their 20s or 30s could be caring for a parent or sibling with a long-term disability, chronic or terminal condition and still require support

Caring is increasingly becoming a part of more and more people’s lives, affecting their professional and personal lives.

This is why carer-friendly and inclusive initiatives within your organisation’s benefit strategy will need to be at the forefront – complementing the advent of the Carer’s Leave Act and Flexible Working Act on 6 April 2024.

By offering carer-friendly policies and recognising the challenges faced by staff with caring responsibilities, employers will gain a competitive advantage to attract and retain this key talent demographic.

Working carers will be on the lookout for organisations offering:

Benefits for the whole family

Employees want to work for employers that care about their wellbeing and welfare outside of work just as much as within the business. They want employers to focus on work-care benefits that can be extended to their family.

For example, in the past 12 months, the interest in adult care or elderly care support as an employee benefit has increased by more than 200% – demonstrating the challenges faced by an ageing population and workforce.

Healthcare benefits

Today, more than one-third of middle-aged adults in the UK have multiple health problems, and as the workforce and population continues to age, chronic health conditions will become even more common.

In 2023, more than half of the UK workforce (51%) wanted access to private healthcare via their workplace, because of growing concerns about the availability of NHS healthcare.

Hospitalisation insurance is also particularly high in demand in the UK, with 59% of workers wanting this in 2024.

Employee benefits that focus on preventative healthcare and care for chronic health issues  will become increasingly desirable as the workforce ages.

Community support groups

Community support groups can complement your benefits strategy and the ways in which it will support the carers in your workplace.

A menopause community, a carers community and a financial education community are just a few ways employees can get help from peers in similar situations, reaping the rewards associated with peer learning and open communication.

Financial and mental wellbeing

Being a carer outside of work can cause a lot of emotional and financial strain for employees.

According to Carers UK’s State of Caring Survey 2023:

  • A quarter of carers (26%) don’t know where to get help with their finances
  • 50% of carers said they needed more financial support
  • More than two-thirds (68%) of carers agreed they were worried about their ability to save and plan ahead

By offering financial education programmes and sharing tools to help working carers save for retirement, as well as solutions to help employees and their loved ones navigate the complexities associated with funding care, employees’ stress levels will be reduced, enabling them to be more productive at work.

Become a ‘carer confident’ employer

Employers can adopt CarersUK’s ‘Carer Confident’ benchmark, run by Employers for Carers, which demonstrates their move towards becoming a carer friendly employer.

The scheme helps employers build a supportive and inclusive workplace for staff who are (or might become) carers, and to make the most of the talents that carers can bring to the workplace.

The Carer Confident scheme also aims to recognise employers who achieve this, and inspire other organisations across the UK to follow suit.

Employers need to make the needs of working carers a focus in their benefits strategy to prepare for the needs of today’s workforce and beyond.

KareHero’s comprehensive adult care concierge solution aims to help employees and their loved ones navigate the adult care system with greater ease, making their caring as stress-free as possible.

Karehero is exhibiting at the REBA Wellbeing Congress 2024 on 20 June. Book your ticket here. 

In partnership with KareHero

The UK’s No1 adult caregiving support service' for employees. Helping families understand, find and fund elderly care.

Contact us today


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