Carers Week takes place from Monday 8th – Sunday 14th June 2020. It is an opportunity to celebrate and recognise the vital contribution made by the UK’s 6.5 million carers who have caring responsibilities for either one or more children, one or more disabled children, a relative or a family member.
Caring can be a hugely rewarding experience but it can prove challenging for carers to take care of their own wellbeing whilst caring. The impact of caring for a relative or friend should not be underestimated, it can affect all aspects of life from relationships and health, to finances and work.
This year, many carers are facing additional challenges due to the impact of the coronavirus, and those looking after someone should be recognised for any difficulties they are experiencing, respected for all they are doing, and provided with information, support and understanding.
The University of Leeds
The University is committed to supporting the increasing number of working carers who have caring responsibilities for children, or older, disabled or seriously ill people who are unable to care for themselves. If left unsupported, the impact of being a working carer can lead to isolation or burnout for the individual, and lower productivity, higher absenteeism or higher rates of turnover amongst staff.
At the University, 24% of staff have indicated they are working carers. Carers Week is an opportunity to remind colleagues about the range of support available at the University. This includes:
- Line managers, who play a vital role in supporting working carers through open communication, understanding and flexibility;
- Local HR teams, who can provide advice on policy and explore appropriate options for working arrangements with carers and line managers;
- Policy on time off for carers and domestic reasons;
- Policy on flexible working;
- Policy on career breaks;
- Appointments with Carers Leeds (see details below)
- Occupational health;
- Staff Counselling and Psychological Support Service.
The University is partnered with Carers Leeds, an independent charity which aims to improve the lives of unpaid carers in the city.
- On June 10th (10am-12pm) Carers Leeds are hosting an online round table discussion with local employers to share lessons learned from the Covid-19 crisis and discuss new ways of working. Find out more information and book your place on the Eventbrite event page.
- You can book a free and confidential telephone appointment with Carers Leeds by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org. Upcoming appointment dates are as follows: Thursday 16 July, Wednesday August 12th and Thursday September 10th. You can also call their general advice line on 0113 380 4300, available Monday to Friday, 9am – 5pm.