Employers should introduce support for working carers before the Carer’s Leave Act 2023 comes into effect next year, according to Towergate Health and Protection.
The health and wellbeing provider is urging businesses to take action now so that they can implement the changes and offer the required help for carers within their workforces.
Under the Act, from the first day of employment staff will be entitled to a minimum of one week off every year to organise or provide care for a dependent with long-term care needs. However, according to Towergate Health and Protection, this is just one possible measure that could be implemented.
The company’s head of wellbeing Debra Clark said: “Employers can use the forthcoming Carer’s Leave Act as an instigator to look at the support they currently provide for carers and where this could be improved or enhanced. Giving the right support at work can mitigate the need for carers to take additional time off.”
Towergate Health and Protection highlighted that more than one in seven employees are carers, meaning that millions of people are currently juggling work with unpaid caring duties. Additionally, research has suggested that an average of 600 workers are resigning from their paid roles every day to care for someone, with three-quarters (75%) of working carers worrying about continuing to juggle the two jobs.
The company says employers should consider offering staff access to specialist support services, and that information could be available through an added-value aspect of cash plans and group risk policies, as well as via employee assistance programmes (EAPs) and specialist care advisers.
It believes that providing access to this type of support helps to remove pressure on the individual, enabling them to better focus on work, and making them feel less isolated.
Clark added: “The physical and mental strain on employees who are also carers is immense. However, with the support of their employer, it does not need to be so detrimental to their work. A supportive employer will be better able to attract and retain staff who are also carers, enabling employees to still be able to work while they have caring responsibilities and bringing financial benefits to the business both short and long term.”