Kavitha Sivasubramaniam: Supporting carers at work

As our Benefits for Carers Week, in association with Aon, draws to a close, it is time to reflect on some of the trends and issues currently shaping this area of the benefits market.

According to research published by Carers UK in November 2020, the number of employees with caring responsibilities has increased by a whopping 2.8 million during the course of the Covid-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic. And, as these numbers continue to rise, employers should be aware that some members of staff may well be struggling to juggle their paid work with unpaid caring responsibilities. Some might be looking after elderly relatives, while others may have young children or other dependants.

Where possible, organisations should offer support to these employees with their physical, financial and emotional wellbeing so they can keep working. There are many ways they can do this through their employee benefits package, and often at little or no cost to the business. Establishing a carers’ network where they can meet with colleagues who are facing similar challenges and providing flexible working arrangements are just some examples of how they can do this.

Of course, many employers will already have provisions in place for their workforces that could help working carers in particular. Communication is key here, and in some cases it will be merely a case of ensuring these are clearly signposted and accessible to staff who need them. In addition, senior staff must lead from the top and make sure that line managers too are properly trained to support their teams.

Whatever stage you are at and however you support carers within your organisation, Benefits for Carers Week was designed to help take this to the next level through exclusive insights and opinions uncovering best practice in this area. These included:

Kavitha Sivasubramaniam
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