A major employer has introduced a range of flexible working and family leave arrangements for an estimated 10,000 of its employees who are also adult carers.
The UK has an estimated seven million carers and The Co-operative’s own internal research has revealed more than one in 10 of its 100,000 employees currently look after family, partners or friends in need of help because of illness, frailty or disability.
The Co-operative’s businesses are in many areas including grocery, money, funerals and pharmacies across Bucks, Beds and Herts. The policies also include the company helping with training and information for carers and a 24 hour employee assistance programme.
Liz Bramley, The Co-operative’s head of employee engagement and diversity, said: “Caring is a continuing and growing fact of life for many and our family-friendly approach is designed to give managers across our businesses the tools to act consistently and fairly.”
The company says its policies are designed to enhance recruitment, retention and support for employees with caring responsibilities,
Thea Stein, chief executive of Carers Trust, said: “One of the key issues that we hear of from carers is how difficult it can be to combine their caring role with their career. By adapting a carer friendly policy around issues such as flexible working and emergency leave, employers can do so much in supporting employees who are carers.”
The Cooperative has launched the Carers Trust as its 2013 Charity of the Year.