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Employers for Carers

Summary

Description

Operational Information

Evaluation

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Summary

Employers for Carers (EfC) is a membership forum of large and small employers chaired by British Gas and supported by the specialist knowledge of Carers UK. The leadership of Employers for Carers is provided by BT, Listawood, PricewaterhouseCoopers and the University of Leeds. Together with other members such as British Gas, the Metropolitan Police, the Government Equalities Office, NHS Trusts and local councils they are already rising to the challenge of supporting carers in their workforce.

This forum is supported by the specialist knowledge of Carers UK whose key purpose is to ensure that employers have the support to retain employees with caring responsibilities.

Carers UK is a charity set up to help people who care for family or friends. They provide information and advice about caring alongside practical and emotional support for carers. Carers UK also campaigns to make life better for carers and influences policy makers, employers and service providers, to help them improve carers' lives.

The information below refers to specific initiatives for employers and working carers (not to be confused with carers.uk broader service).

Employers for Carers carries out surveys in order to assess which resources the companies have and which aspects need to be improved for a better management of working carers and provides different kinds of practical tools and services such as guides for employers and carers, a dedicated website, information, consultancy and training. Furthermore, EfC gives the employers the possibility of sharing their experiences and eventually good practices through a networking group.

To join EfC the employers have to complete a form available on http://www.employersforcarers.org/join.

Employers are required to pay a Corporate Membership rate per annum (plus VAT) that varies from £2,000 to £500 according to the employees’ number.

Private and Public Companies are EfC members. In the Leadership Group are: British Gas \ Centrica, Bright Horizons, Carers UK, Hyde Group, Listawood Ltd, Metropolitan Police, Nomura, PriceWaterhouseCoopers, Sainsbury’s, University of Leeds; as observers: Department for Health, Department for Business Innovation and Skills, Department for Work and Pensions, Government Equalities Office.

Description
refers to the target users, kind of service provided, ICTs typologies and devices used

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Employers for Carers
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UK
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2009
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The main aim of this service is to provide advice and support for employers seeking to develop carer friendly policy and practice and retain skilled workers. The forum also identifies and promotes the business benefits of supporting carers in the workplace and seeks to influence government and employment policies and practices to support working carers.

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This service wants to support employers in retaining employees with care responsibilities in order to improve the way they reconcile work and care and to avoid turn-over and loss of competencies for enterprises as well. The initiative was born from Carers UK, a Charity that helps carers in handling care tasks. The main idea that built up the service is that by recognising the needs of carers, employers can hold on to their experienced staff and reap the rewards of creating a supportive working environment for carers.

The organization was originally primed by European funding, but is now entirely reliant on membership subscriptions.

Employers for Carers urges employers to ensure that carers are included in the equality and inclusion agenda. Caring is often a hidden issue in the workplace as people don't feel able or don't want to talk about their caring responsibilities. This has a two-fold effect. Firstly carers can struggle to juggle work and care as they don't feel able to access any support that might be available if there isn't a culture of flexibility and openness. Secondly, targeted policies and practices for carers are sometimes not developed in the workplace because employers are not aware that this is an issue and that in fact 1 in 7 of their workforce will be juggling work and care.

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No Care Recipients
Yes Informal carers
No Paid assistants
No Formal carers

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Not available

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No Independent Living
Yes Information and learning for carers
No Personal Support and Social Integration for carer
No Care coordination

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The Employers for Carers membership package includes:

1.- A resource pack which includes:

Supporting carers in your workforce: an employer’s guide.

Supporting working carers: a carer’s guide.

A guide to the right to request flexible working.

Managers Handbook.

A training DVD Juggling Work and Care which can also be used to promote carers’ support.

Password access to a specialist website full of online practical resources including:

A benchmarking tool.

Model policies.

Detailed business case.

An interactive employers’ discussion forum.

2.- 'Hands on' practical advice and information including a one-on-one 'diagnostic' session with one of EfC specialist consultants who will help employers to identify practical ways to improve support for carers in their workforce.

3.- Access to expert consultancy and training services. Training courses currently include:

Compliance on equalities: new rights for carers
The Equality Act: what it means in practice
Implications for employers and carers
Case study examples and scenarios
(Read about our recent Mock Tribunal event on Carers and the Equality Act here)

Supporting carers in your workforce: an introduction
Who are carers?
How do you identify them?
How do you support them?
The business case

Carers and their rights: employment law
Time off for dependants
Parental leave
Right to request flexible working
Protection from discrimination

Flexible working: solutions for retention in recession
Retaining key skills and experience
Flexible working and flexible leave
Managing and implementing flexibility - debunking the myths
Positioning for recovery

Managing stress at work: spotlight on carers
Identifying the roots of stress
Developing an open culture
Workplace networks

Latest information about legal and employment policy through e-bulletins and briefings.

Opportunities to network with, and learn from, other employers online and at our events.

The EfC provides also in-house networking group and employee assistance programes.

 

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Very basic equipment is required to access the service: personal computer and internet connection.

Operational Information
refers to the type of funding, budget, sustainability and organisations involved

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Private only
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Other: please specify
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Not applicable

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Other: please specify
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Self sustaining service funded from membership subscriptions:

  • Corporate Membership Rate: £2,000 per annum (plus VAT)

  • Reduced Membership Rates: £1,000 per annum (plus VAT) – available to employers with less than 1,000 employees and £500 per annum (plus VAT) – available to employers with less than 500 employees

 

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EfC is run as a self sustaining service by Carers UK and is therefore dependant upon revenue from membership subscriptions for its staffing and operation within Carers UK. At present, while EfC is still growing as a membership subscription service, it is not a separate legal entity to Carers UK. Membership subscription revenue includes annual standard membership fees and a one-off ‘seedcorn’ payment from each Leadership Group member upon joining the Leadership Group. (LG members then subsequently pay the standard membership rate). EfC revenue is also supplemented by consultancy and training fees on an ad hoc basis.

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EfC has the support of six government departments, though only one – the Department for Work and Pensions – is a signed up member. However, EfC is taken seriously by government and the manager is hopeful that funding opportunities for expansion will be available in the future. The sustainability depends on the capacity of the service of attracting new members and create network with them.

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Start up phase pre launch in January 2009: seedcorn funding from initial Leadership Group members.

Year one: seedcorn funding from additional Leadership Group members and first target tranche of standard members.

Year two: seedcorn funding from additional Leadership Group member(s) and next target tranche of standard members

Subsequent years: annual targets for growth in membership supplemented by targets for revenue from consultancy services (Wilson, 2013)

 

 

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Yes Authorities
No Private Care Sector
Yes Health and Social Care Systems
No Third Sector
Yes Private Companies

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Not available

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EfC is a rib of Carers UK, that is a charity. This means that the values it is inspired from are the same. Charities and other organizations belonging to the Third Sector participate as leaders and funders.
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Yes Informal Carers
Yes Health Professionals
Yes Social Care Professionals
No Privately-Hired Care Assistants (inc. Migrant Care Workers)
No Volunteers

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Carers UK staff (EfC team).

Leadership Group employers from the private and public sectors (who meet on a quarterly basis to steer the direction of the forum).

Member employer organisations across a growing range of sectors including financial services, utilities, retail, local authorities, regulatory bodies and health.

Some government departments who are part to the national carers strategy have been engaged as Observers to the Leadership Group (Department of Health, Department for Work and Pensions, Department for Business Innovation and Skills and Government Equalities Office) (Wilson, 2013).

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Not involved

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More than 500,000
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Potentially 1,000,000 employees from around 70 member organisations, 1 in 7 of whom are likely to be carers (Wilson, 2013).

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The main promotion channel is the Website.

Evaluation
refers to the impact of the service on end-users, care organisations and authorities

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The service impacts on working carers’ quality of life by providing guidebooks on carers rights and helping them to find new solutions for reconciling work and care tasks (Yeandle et al., 2006; Wilson, 2013)

 

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The service impacts on companies because it helps employers minimise the loss of skilled workers and helping workers to reconcile care and work allows employers to minimise absenteeism, sick leave and saves the costs associated with replacing people who quit work (Yeandle et al., 2006; Wilson, 2013).

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The service impacts on Public Sector and on NHS because it avoids turn-over and early retirement of employees (Yeandle et al., 2006; Wilson, 2013).

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Strengths

  1. EfC is a “work in progress” and attracts more members each year.
  2. It has provided many surveys as evidence of the importance of supporting employers in managing working carers.

Weaknesses

  1. One major problem has been identifying carers and getting carers to identify themselves as carers, because they do not always recognise themselves as such.

  2. It has been difficult for the organization to get employers to recognise the prevalence of caring in their organizations because caring is often such a hidden issue in the workplace

  3. The length of time it takes to secure each new employer as a member from initial contact to sign up; engagement is often a long process involving winning hearts and minds and locating who will sign off the budget for the membership fee.

Opportunities

  1. There is an ambition to focus on different sectors, such as finance, retail and education, in the hope of attracting more organisations. Eg, if one bank is a member, EfC hopes other banks will be drawn towards EfC support.
  2. EfC also hopes to develop services for small business which cannot afford to join; it will do this by creating umbrella membership for clusters of businesses, which pay a collective fee.
  3. EfC is also trying to demonstrate how beneficial supporting carers is, and at the moment only a few companies do this. However, a case study (EfC,2009) shows how staff retention can be achieved even when pay does not increase. If the employer is seen as supportive and flexible, then staff are attracted to this and more willing to remain.

Threats/Challenges

  1. Recently, cuts in funding and resources to the Public Sector are making it difficult for the organization to hire additional workers, including carers.
  2. The service is based on memberships’ contributions and the economic crisis could lead employers to reduce costs by not renewing their participation in the initiative.
  3. Challenge for EfC is to be flexible for businesses who are members and not to “sell” the service as additional work for businesses to do, rather as a resource which can be drawn upon whenever it is needed.
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The initiative is already mainstream in the whole of the UK and easily transferable to all type of companies, from big to small because it provides tailored services.

More Information
includes contacts, publications and accompanying documents

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References:

Yeandle S., Bennett C., Buckner L.,. Shipton L, Suokas A. (2006), Who Cares Wins: The Social and Business Benefits of Supporting Working Carers, available on http://www.employersforcarers.org/resources/research/item/225-who-cares-wins-the-social-and-business-benefits-of-supporting-working-carers (last access June 2013)

Wilson K. (2013), Supporting working carers. The benefits to families, business and the economy, at https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/232303/Supporting_Working_Carers_Final_Report__accessible_.pdf.

Case study update by Mrs. Katherine Wilson in October 2013.

Publications:

Crowley L., Case study: Lisa and her mum, available on http://www.employersforcarers.org/business-case/case-study-lisa (last access June 2013)

EfC, Case Study: Listawood (2009), available on http://www.employersforcarers.org/business-case/case-study-listawood (last access: June 2013)

EfC (2011), Line managers key to flexible working in times of recession when ‘being seen’ in the office outweighs productivity, available on http://www.employersforcarers.org/news/item/303-line-managers-key-to-flexible-working-in-times-of-recession-when-‘being-seen’-in-the-office-outweighs-productivity(last access: June 2013)

Waters C., Case Study:BT, available on http://www.employersforcarers.org/business-case/case-study-bt (last access: June 2013)

Carers UK, Who are Employers for Carers, available on http://www.carersuk.org/ (last access: June 2013)

http://carers-efc.jamkit.com/BusinessCase/CaseStudyLisa

http://carers-efc.jamkit.com/BusinessCase/CasestudyBT

 

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Telephone number: 0044 020 7378 4956

Email: employers@carersuk.org