Carers Rights Day, organised by the charity Carers UK, takes place on Friday 24 November with this year’s theme being Make Connections, Get Support.
The University committed to supporting the increasing number of working carers who have caring responsibility for children, or people who are older, disabled or seriously ill and unable to care for themselves. If left unsupported the impact of being a working carer can mean isolation, burnout, lower productivity, higher absenteeism and turnover of staff.
Carers UK research has found that at least one in nine employees in the UK are working carers, but many are not identifying themselves as such. At the University, 23% of staff have indicated they are working carers, with 15% of staff preferring not to say and 21% declaring as unknown*.
Carers Rights Day is a good opportunity to remind staff and managers about the range of support available at the University which includes:
- Talking to line managers who play a vital role in supporting working carers through open communication, understanding and flexibility;
- local HR teams;
- Policy on time off for carers and domestic reasons;
- Flexible working;
- Career breaks;
- Monthly appointments on campus with a specialist Carer Support Worker from Carers Leeds (arranged through the Equality Policy Unit)
- Dementia Carers Staff Network;
- Occupational Health;
- Staff Counselling and Psychological Support Service.
The University is also partnered with a number of other organisations in Leeds to share best practice on supporting working carers and plays an active role on this forum. The partnership is co-ordinated by Carers Leeds, an independent charity which aims to improve the lives of unpaid carers in the city by providing advice, information and support.
To provide any feedback on the support available at the University or to request an appointment with the Carers Leeds Carer Support Worker, please contact Equality Policy Unit.
* If you wish to check and update your equality information you can do so through Employee or Manager Self Service.