Why is supporting working carers so important now?
Most people's lives will include at least one episode of caring. Already 1 in 9 in your workforce will be caring for someone who is ill, frail or has a disability. But with the number of carers in the UK set to rise from 6 million to 9 million over the next 30 years, the proportion of carers in your workforce is also likely to increase significantly.
Already 90% of working carers are aged 30 plus – employees in their prime employment years. The peak age for caring is also 45-64 when many employees will have gained valuable skills and experience. With fewer young people entering the job market – and in the current economic climate - there has never been a more important time to focus on the benefits of retaining skilled workers rather than incurring the costs of recruiting and retraining new staff.
What are the business benefits?
Employers need to support working carers. Far from compromising business objectives, research shows that using a flexible working approach achieves impressive business results.
This flexible approach:
- attracts and retains staff
- reduces stress
- reduces recruitment and training costs
- increases resilience and productivity
- reduces sick leave
- improves service delivery
- produces cost savings
- improves people management
- increases staff morale
Organisations that have introduced flexible working and special leave arrangements for carers have judged them a success. Their message is – it makes business sense to care for carers.