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Working carers

In 2021, there were 2.5m (2,475,278) unpaid carers are in employment in the UK. Of those, 62% of carers in employment were caring for less than 19 hours, 21% were caring for 20-49 hours, and 17% were caring for over 50 hours.

Employer recommendations

➖Formally recognise working carers and create an organisational culture that is supportive of working carers. Develop policies and practices designed for this purpose, with the aim of becoming a ‘carer-friendly’ employer.

➖Provide working carers with the right to take appropriate periods of paid carers’ leave. Create cultures where carers can take that time.

➖Design jobs with flexibility in mind and advertise whether roles can be performed flexibly when hiring, unless there are good reasons not to.

➖Avoid setting expectations that people work over their contracted hours – instead, they should ensure that roles can be done in the contracted hours. Performance should be monitored based on outputs rather than presenteeism.

➖Encourage people to have a healthy work-life balance.

Encourage a vocal culture where employees actively communicate about not only logging off but also when they are leveraging flexibility and resting. Encourage employees and managers to be loud and vocal about their rest, personal time and space so employees feel comfortable declaring breaks, commitments, responsibilities and so on can help managers construct healthy team environments. Leverage calendar blocks, out of office and status messages to indicate flexibility and rest time.

Keep track.  Monitor talent outcomes of people working different patterns to see if flexibility is impacting career progression or pay.
Celebrate flex success. Signal that flex works by publicising the flexible working patterns of
newly promoted staff and people in senior leadership roles.
Make performance measurement about output. Measure performance by results, not where and when the work gets done.

➖While existing organisational policies and processes will already provide support for working carers, bring support and policies together in one easily accessible place.

➖Ask your employees about the support they need. Measures should be developed in consultation with working carers

Further information