Carers Week 2024: How to Support Your People

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Health Assured team

06 June 2023

Caring for a loved one is an extremely difficult, time-consuming, sensitive and a taxing task that many people face in the UK.

Carers who make sweeping changes to their lives - and livelihoods - deserve praise. Yet, many carers remain part of the workforce, despite the additional stresses and concerns that care brings. That's why it's important that employers take the time to recognise these struggles and consider how employers can help alleviate some of the stress.

What is Carers Week?

Celebrated annually in June, Carers Week is the celebration and recognition of the difficult but important work unpaid carers do for the community. Carers week also sets out to raise awareness for the challenges carers face and to bring awareness to those who may not think they are carers so they can access the support they may need.

Who are carers?

In England, we have approximately 4.7 million unpaid carers and all of these people will be working around the clock in order to care for their loved ones as well as keep up with the demands of their everyday job.

Being a carer means that the person provides unpaid care to support a friend or family member who needs extra support.

They may need extra support because of:

  • Disability
  • Illness
  • Mental health condition
  • Addiction
  • Who needs extra help in growing older

Why should you support carers?

Employers should protect and support every person in their workplace, regardless of their situation.

However, should one of your people disclose that they are a carer outside of work you will need to assess the appropriate and reasonable adjustments, for the benefit of your people and your organisation. This will support them in the tough experience of caring for someone and protect their mental health.

Supporting your carers means:

  • Decreases absenteeism
  • Reduces stress levels
  • Increases morale
  • Boosts resilience and productivity

When is Carers Week?

Carers week is celebrated annually in June and this year it will land on Monday the 10th June until Sunday 16th June 2024.

Caring for someone can be rewarding, but it's also challenging. So, how can you support your employees? Below we've highlighted some ways you can make a difference.


Employees do not legally have to notify their employer that they are a carer. However, employers should encourage open dialogue and conversations to promote an open work culture.

Checking on an employee's wellbeing regularly during catch-ups and/or appraisals can encourage this open dialogue. It can also provide opportunities for employees to raise anything that may be impacting their general wellbeing.

If employees do raise caring concerns allow them a non-judgemental space to get things off their chest. If you can show your support it lets employees know they have somewhere to turn to if they need it.

Flexible working practices

Carers have a lot of responsibilities to manage. A great way to make their life a little easier is to ensure that they have some room to attend to caring tasks as and when they arise. Even if this simply means moving their start and finish times forward by an hour, this can be the difference between rushing to prepare for the day and being secure in the knowledge that their caring responsibilities are in hand.

Job-sharing and allowing remote working will give a carer more time to spend at home. However, it is important that they have structures and support to allow them to complete their work.

Management support

Knowing that management is sympathetic will help your employees with caring responsibilities come forward with their issues. Your senior members of staff should have training in understanding these issues. Simply knowing how to be supportive and empathetic when a carer first approaches a manager can make the difference between them continuing work or taking time off.

Offering training for managers supports  them in understanding how caring can impact an employee's life. Research shows that caring can lead to poor mental and physical health as well as loneliness and financial worries. These are issues that can seep into the workplace too, so it's helpful if managers can be sensitive to this.

Open wellness culture

Promote and encourage openness around mental and physical wellbeing in your workplace. Not only will this help carers to speak up about any issues they may face and the help you can provide, but it’ll also create a more pleasant atmosphere for everyone in general.

Provide resources and opportunities for healthiness—healthy snacks, educational literature and social functions can help. Senior management sharing stories of their own difficulties can be greatly encouraging as well—it lets people know that everyone suffers from the same issues.

Carers are a valuable asset, and with a rapidly ageing population, more and more people may need to take on a caring role along with their workload. Be prepared and open about your acceptance of this and show a genuine desire to help— you’ll be making a difference to a lot of lives.

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