Green Paper response

Monday, 13 July 2009

Employers for Carers today welcomed the long awaited Green Paper on care and support and called for the voices of employers to be heard in the national debate it will create.

The paper, Shaping the Future of Care Together, recognises the need for a radical overhaul of the care system and for clear national entitlements to a National Care Service. It sets out five options for change including a partnership model between state and individual and proposals for different forms of insurance schemes.

Caroline Waters, Director of People and Policy for BT and Chair of Employers for Carers said: 'Employers for Carers welcomes the fact that – at long last – the Government is facing up to the care crunch as well as to the credit crunch. Three million people in the UK are currently juggling work and caring for an ill, frail or disabled family member, friend or partner. This can be a tough act to manage in any circumstances. But it's even tougher when the back up care and support services that people need just simply aren't there or aren't flexible enough for today's 24 x 7 economy.

'We know at BT that many of our employees are struggling to find accessible, reliable and affordable care services. And, according to the charity Carers UK, 1 in 5 people actually give up work to care, often leading to real financial hardship. This is also a big loss for employers too as caring can strike people at any age or any stage in their career, including the most skilled and experienced employees in whom substantial investments will almost certainly have been made.

'Employers for Carers will be responding formally to the Green Paper in due course. But our message today is that employers have a right to expect accessible, reliable and affordable care services that are there when their employees need them. Care services that are as much a part of the local infrastructure as transport or utilities.'