Today (2nd February) the Government has published a new strategy to encourage businesses to retain, retrain and recruit older workers. Fuller Working Lives: a partnership approach sets out the case for action and what the employers and the Government can do to support older workers including those who are juggling work and care or seeking to return to the labour market after time away to care.
Responding to the publication of new Fuller Working Lives strategy Heléna Herklots, CBE, Chief Executive of Carers UK said:
“The Government’s new Fuller Working Lives strategy rightly recognises the challenge of combining paid employment with caring for a loved one both for individuals, and for employers looking to retain older workers. 3 million of us are already trying to manage this difficult juggling act.
This is an important part of the new Industrial Strategy, ensuring that we have the right workforce now and in the future, harnessing the talents and opportunities of older workers, many of whom are, or will be, carers.The Fuller Working Lives strategy rightly celebrates good practice from employers and Carers UK would like to see the Government take one step further by creating a statutory right to paid time off to care so that more employees and employers can benefit from this.
Carers UK also welcomes the strategy’s emphasis on recruiting and retraining older workers. 2 million people each year come to the end of their caring role and many of them will want to return to the labour market but will struggle without a greater combined effort from employers and Government to put in place the right training, tailored support and returnship opportunities.”
Katherine Wilson, Head of Employers for Carers said:
“Members of the Employers for Carers Forum welcome the collaborative approach from Government which recognises the important role that employers have alongside action from Government. The Forum has long recognised the huge benefits of supporting carers to remain in or join our workforces. We have been pleased to share the learning and good practice of employers as part of this work and will continue to work with Government to understand what makes a difference to keeping and recruiting employees with caring responsibilities.
Alongside support in the workplace, improved access to high quality, affordable social care providing the necessary back up for employees juggling work and care, can bring greater inclusion of older workers with caring responsibilities. We look forward to the economic value of social care being considered as part of the Cabinet Office review of social care.“