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Centrica and Carers UK write to the UK’s largest employers to encourage more support for carers

07 May 2019

Carers UK is working with Centrica in a bid to help one million carers stay in or return to work by 2020.

Centrica and Carers UK are today (Tuesday 7th May 2019) calling on the Government to introduce 5 to 10 days of mandatory paid care leave for all employers.

Iain Conn, Group Chief Executive of Centrica and Helen Walker, Chief Executive of Carers UK have written to the chief executives of the UK’s 100 largest employers to encourage more support for carers and to open a dialogue sharing best practice and experience.

Centrica estimates show that UK companies could save up to £4.8 billion a year in unplanned absences and a further £3.4 billion in improved employee retention by adopting flexible working policies to support those with caring responsibilities.

Carers UK research shows the number of people balancing care responsibilities with work has now grown to over five million people from the three million previously identified in 2011. However, the significant demands of caring mean that 2.6 million people have been forced to stop working altogether.  

Centrica is also announcing a change to its care leave policy, giving employees more paid for leave without using annual leave allowances to meet their caring responsibilities. It will now offer 10 days paid leave to all its carers followed by another 10 days that can be taken if matched with annual leave.

Helen Walker, Chief Executive of Carers UK, said:

“More than 600 people give up work every day to care for a loved one, often taking with them skills and years of experience.

“Whether looking after a partner receiving hospital treatment, or supporting parents to live independently at home, a right to five to 10 days paid care leave could make all the difference to a member of staff juggling work and care.

“It’s important now more than ever that the Government and employers support the rising number of carers to remain in work. It makes good business sense and helps families who are caring. The consequences of failing to do so are huge.”

The letter can be found in full at www.centrica.com/caring

Read more about our recent research on work and in care in our Juggling Work and Care report.

Find out about our campaign to get carers a right to paid care leave on our campaign page.

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