As an employer you will be all too familiar with the need to retain skilled experienced. Do you know how many carers are in your employment? Approximately one in every none people in your workforce may be caring for someone who is ill, frail or has a disability. Juggling paid work and caring can present real problems such as how one prioritises between an urgent call from a client and an urgent call from your elderly parent who has dementia? or to attend to your disabled child or your partner who has Multiple Sclerosis).
Given the stresses and strains that can result from balancing multiple responsibilities inside and outside the workplace, it is unsurprising that 1 in 5 carers give up work to care full time. But many of these employees will be your most valuable staff, the 45-64 year-olds at the peak of their careers.
Good businesses need good people. In the current economic climate, there has never been a more important time to focus on the benefits of retaining skilled workers – and supporting your employees to work healthily and productively – rather than incurring the costs of recruiting and retraining new staff.
By recognising the needs of carers, you can hold on to your experienced staff and reap the rewards of creating a supportive working environment for carers.
There are simple easy things that employers can do which will make all the difference such as:
- Introducing flexible working practices – such as flexi-time, home working, annualised hours, compressed hours, shift swapping, self-rostering, staggered hours, job sharing, term-time working, part time working and flexible holidays.
- Emergency leave – can be critically important to carers, who can be called home at short notice when care arrangements break down or the person they care for falls ill.