Carers Rights Day: Does your employer care? That’s the £30,000 question
On Carers Rights Day, which this year is on November 24, Wiltshire's Working for Carers scheme is urging people to ask their employer a straightforward question: 'Do you care?'
With nearly one in eight people juggling work with caring for a family member, many employers are missing a trick when it comes to showing their caring side. They run the risk of losing valuable members of their workforce when they have to become carers.
A recent report by Oxford Economics revealed that it costs £30,000 to replace a staff member, with much of the cost coming from loss of output, recruiting costs and the time it takes for a new employee to reach optimum productivity level.
“People should ask their existing employer and any prospective employer, do you care, and if so, what do you have in place to support me if a member of my family suffers from poor health, or suddenly becomes ill?” says, Lizzie Rapley from Working for Carers.
Corsham Print's answer to the question of the day was a firm 'Yes' - and they have become a member of Working for Carers: “Becoming a Working for Carers member has been an important step in supporting and identifying carers within our workforce.”
Working for Carers is a membership and accreditation scheme set up by the local charity, Carer Support Wiltshire to help employers create carer friendly workplaces. In the 2011 census it showed that there were over 47,000 carers in Wiltshire.
Lizzie Rapley explains: “Employers who are carer aware and can offer flexitime, job shares, home-working or part-time options have a reputation for being family friendly and forward thinking, and as a result are much more attractive to future employees."
"Supporting the carers in your workforce means reduced absence, increased productivity, improved morale and the retention of talented and experienced staff. It makes business sense.”
Due to its success Working for Carers is now being expanded across the South West and Midlands with the Worcestershire Association of Carers launching early next year and partnerships with Forward Carers in Birmingham and with Cornwall Rural Community Charity.
To find out more about Working for Carers visit their website.
FOOTNOTE: A carer is anyone who cares, unpaid, for a family member or friend who cannot manage without their support. They might look after someone with a physical disability, long term health condition, mental health issue or a problem with substance misuse.
Carer Support Wiltshire helps carers to access support, services, education and training, and breaks from their caring role. They ensure carers in Wiltshire have a voice in policy making and planning for services, and work with health and social care professionals and employers to develop best practice.
The charity's aim is to create carer friendly communities where carers are recognised, valued and supported.