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10 Jun 2024

How providing support for working carers can boost productivity

This Carer's Week employers should consider what benefits they can introduce to support working carers and help them understand state provisions

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About a quarter of working people have some level of caregiving responsibilities – supporting a family member or friend due to disability, sickness or age-related needs. As an employer it’s possible you’ve started discovering more of them due to their newly-acquired right to take carer’s leave.

While caring can help people develop remarkable skills such as advocacy, research and multitasking; like many of life’s challenges, they can also affect someone’s work. As such providing support when employees share about their caring role is good both for them and your business.

REBA has a number of member organisations that work in this space, providing support such as caregiver insurance, a care co-ordination app, care concierge or backup care, all of which can help in different ways. Having carer-centric support in your employee benefits mix is a great investment that will help boost productivity and reduce absence, as well as support employees who are experiencing significant challenges. 

Another thing your organisation can do this Carers Week is share across the workforce some free resources that can benefit carers, including how to understand their rights and the services that can support them. Connecting people with this as early as possible in their caring journey helps make their balancing work and care more sustainable, and this list of resources should be on hand for every line manager who might have those conversations.

1. Carers UK and Carers Trust are the national charities supporting carers, and Carers UK has the remit to support working carers, while Carers Trust runs grant schemes, works with young carers and has a network of local carer’s groups.

2. The local authority in which a carer lives has a responsibility to carry out a carer’s assessment, which can lead to services or support to help them in their role. They should visit the website and contact the social services department (sometimes called a duty line) or any specific carers department mentioned.

3. The local authority in which the person they care for lives has the legal responsibility to conduct a needs assessment, which can lead to them providing support that enables your employee to spend less time caring. Too often people wait until they are at breaking point before asking for help, which they can find again through the social services department relevant to the person they care for (e.g. children, adults, older people).

4. As mentioned, Carers Trust has a network of local groups that can help, and this can be critical in connecting people with tangible support that they need, including home care services that they may operate.

5. Carers UK has resources to help with registering with GPs, which can help with carer-specific support, including access to vaccines that can help protect the people they care for, as well as help ensure that carers are appropriately involved in the medical decisions of people they look after.

6. Carers may be eligible for benefits, such as carers allowance, and Turn2us has a very easy to use benefits calculator that can help people find out which benefits they should apply for. Running this exercise for both the carer and the person they look after can help ensure that all individuals and households are getting the support they are eligible for.

7. Carers can often benefit from condition-specific charities that can help them understand how best to support the person they care for. Whether the condition is dementia, cancer, Parkinson's or autism etc, there are organisations out there with resources, support and they frequently operate helplines too.

8. Finally, Citizen’s Advice Bureau is an extremely useful national and local organisation that can support with a range of topics, as well as signposting to other local services.

In partnership with Yurtle

Yurtle is an insurance-based employee wellness benefit helping companies to combat caregiver burnout (and the associated productivity and employee turnover losses) in the workplace.

Contact us today