The Carers in Employment Policy is clear that there is no obligation for anyone to reveal their caring situation – but that it may help them to get the support they need if they do.
What the policy covers
The policy covers some small but important things:
- People being allowed to keep their personal mobiles switched on during meetings in case they are needed at home.
- Having their care commitments taken into account when setting meeting times.
- Ensuring people have opportunities to talk to their line manager about their caring responsibilities and how Carers Trust can support them.
- To support the discussion with line managers, a question regarding caring responsibilities is a standing item on the agenda for all 'one to one' review meetings.
There are also bigger commitments including up to five days paid carers leave in a 12 month period and a commitment to give serious consideration to requests to change working patterns, hours or place of work on a short or long term basis to accommodate changes in caring responsibilities.
Staff Carers Group
Carers Trust wants to be an exemplary place to work for carers. A Staff Carers Group contributes to Carers Trust's approach to carers in its employment and enables carers in the organisation to offer informal support to one another.
The group discuss issues faced by carers in employment and focus on ensuring Carers Trust is a carer friendly place to work, influencing policies, practices and activities.
The group meets every couple of months via teleconference or the Skype for Business programme and is open to all staff who are carers.
Given the number of unpaid carers in the workforce, and especially those who have to give up work to care for their loved ones, employers are missing out on a massive pool of skills and experience if they don’t make it possible for carers to work in organisations of all types.
Working with and for carers
Carers Trust is not just interested in making the organisation a great place to work for carers because it is an organisation that works with and for carers. It makes good business sense too.
So the HR team were delighted to get feedback from the Staff Carers Group saying how much they appreciated the approach, and the level of consultation about the policies and practice.
Carers Trust wants to lead the way, to show how vital carers are, not just in their caring roles which save the country so much, but also in the skills and experience they can bring to the workforce. And it really doesn't take much to make the workplace a better place for carers.