Carers play an important role in families, communities and broader society by supporting others to have a better quality of life. While caring can be extremely rewarding, it can also be stressful and isolating if carers don’t get the support they need. Caring can be physically, psychologically, emotionally and financially difficult and undertaking caring responsibilities alongside paid work may worsen these difficulties. Almost a third of working carers in the UK have not discussed their caring role with anyone at their workplace, most commonly because they believed that nothing would change as a result. A quarter of working carers in the UK were also considering giving up their job entirely because of the difficulty in combining work and care.

By creating a carer-friendly workplace, employers can attract and retain talent and realise the organisational and social benefits of supporting carers. 

This guide aims to support employers to develop a carer-friendly workplace by:  

  • discussing what is meant by a ‘working carer’ and providing examples of different carer experiences;
  • considering the business, legal and moral reasons for carer-friendly workplaces
  • outlining five ways to create a supportive workplace. 

The recommendations within the guidance will help you to: 

  1. develop and communicate a carer policy, framework or guidance 
  2. introduce flexible working to support working carers 
  3. provide leave (paid or unpaid) and be adaptable when carers need leave at short notice 
  4. help managers to empower carers 
  5. provide information and peer-to-peer support. 

What is a working carer?

Why we need carer-friendly workplaces

How to create a carer-friendly workplace: Five tips

Acknowledgements

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