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  • Almost three quarters (73%) of carer friendly employers surveyed have a carer champion in their workplace
  • Around a third (35%) of employers have a carer champion who is currently caring
  • Almost half (46%) of respondents have one carer champion in their workplace while a further 21% have two and 33% have three or more

Carer champions in the workplace are having a positive impact helping employees in their caring roles, something that was relatively unknown pre-pandemic.

A carer champion is an employee who acts as a key contact to support and help carers access information within organisation they work in, as well as externally.

They are helping workers with an unpaid caring role for an older, disabled or seriously ill relative or friend to identify themselves as carers, and find practical help and advice for their caring role.

They are also helping employers retain employees who otherwise may have resigned due to the demands of juggling work with their caring role.  

A survey conducted by Carers UK with over 70 Employers for Carers (EfC) member organisations identified further examples of good practice in promoting support for carers at work, including specifically to recognise the role of carer champions in raising awareness and visibility.

The research identified the top three types of valuable support promoted by carer champions:

  • A carers network (73%)
  • Health and well being scheme (70%)
  • Carer’s Leave (55%).

Evidence of the positive impact of the role of carer champions in the workplace comes following research released by the University of Sheffield and Carers UK last month showing 5,300 people in employment in the UK become unpaid carers every day.

 

Katherine Wilson Head of Employers for Carers said:

“Carer champions are one of several innovative ways that employers and organisations are working to support and retain their staff who have a caring role.

“More than half of carers take up to two years to self-identify as a carer, which can get in the way of them finding important information and support that could help them with their role.

“By giving working carers a dedicated point of contact, carer champions are helping to ensure employees get the right support at the right time to continue caring while in employment, and employers can retain talented and knowledgeable staff.”

 

Around 64% of employers surveyed said they actively promote their ‘carer champion’ role, 16% didn’t actively promote the role and 20% were unsure.

Of those who actively promote the role, 73% said they did this through the intranet, 58% said they used communications such as e-bulletins and emails, 55% said they used workplace awareness raising events, 22% said they used external events and 18% said they used social media.

 

Explaining her role as carer champion at TSB bank, Angela Gibson said:

“Being a carers champion is a key part of my role at TSB to raise awareness for those with caring responsibilities and the support they need whether that be flexible working, supportive managers or additional paid leave. I'm also proud that TSB is the only bank that offers paid carers leave, giving our people the flexibility, they need to balance being a carer while having a rewarding career.”

“Like any other under-represented part of your workforce, carers require allyship, an active voice to campaign on their behalf, to build carer connections so everyone feels included and valued.

“I’m always humbled by carers sharing their stories and the real, tangible difference our carer policy is making. Through this role I hope to ensure every carer at TSB is supported at the times they need it most, without question.”

 

Read our report, The Role of Carer Champions in the Workplace.

Employers interested in finding out more about Employers for Carers can go to the website: employersforcarers.org/membership/member-benefits

 

Notes to Editors

Carers UK conducted an Employers for Carers survey online during July –September 2022. In total, 70 member organisations took part, from the public, private, voluntary and community sectors.

Sectors represented include healthcare (38%), public services and administration (30%), and smaller numbers from a wide range of areas including accountancy, banking and finance, transport and logistics, business, consulting and management, engineering and manufacturing, environment, law, training and education.

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