Lack of support in the workplace limits opportunities for unpaid carers

By Anita Jaynes on 13 July, 2016

Working for Carers is urging Wiltshire employers to recognise the needs of their changing workforce and support the needs of unpaid carers.

New research launched for the recent national Carers Week found that where employers don’t have policies in place to support carers, seven in ten (72%) have given up work/reduced hours to care. 28% of carers reported not pursuing or turning down a promotion in order to be able to care. Findings also revealed a lack of understanding about their caring role has a negative effect on the health, wellbeing, relationships and finances.

Lizzie Rapley, from Working For Carers said: “Nearly 1 in 9 employees combines caring for a loved one with a paid job, and that number is set to rise. In 2012 the Office for National Statistic predicted that, by 2022 there will be 700,000 fewer people aged 16-49, but 3.7 million more people aged 50-State Pension age – many of them will be carers. We’d like to see workplaces putting polices in place now and doing all they can to support and understand carers needs.”

Launched in July last year, Working For Carers was developed by local charity, Carer Support Wiltshire to help and encourage companies throughout the region to create a carer-friendly workplace and prepare for the needs of a changing workforce demographic.

One of several businesses to join this growing movement is John Williams Heating Services of Chippenham. Debbie Williams, co-owner of the business, said: “John Williams Heating Services are proud to support Carer Support Wiltshire. We are firm believers in supporting our employees in all aspects of their lives.”

Other recent joiners include Swindon accountancy firm Banks BHG, Wiltshire recruitment agency 24/7 Staffing, regional care providers Mears Group and Somerset Care, and Bath ASU.

To celebrate their first year anniversary, Working For Carers will be hosting an evening wine and canapé mixer at the Goughs Solicitors office in Devizes.

Businesses are invited to join the celebration on Thursday July 21, 5.30pm for an evening of friendly and informal networking. The event is open to all businesses and is free to attend. To book your place, go to the Eventbrite booking page by clicking here.