Caring is often a hidden issue in the workplace, making it hard to talk about and support. One in five carers give up work because balancing caring and holding down a job becomes too much.

This is damaging to employers and the wider economy. Employers are losing talented people in whom they have invested significant time and money. The public expenditure costs of carers unable to continue working has been estimated at £1.3 billion a year.

The business case for supporting employees who are carers

Supporting carers to remain in work could unlock significant economic gains. As well as reversing the losses currently incurred, research has demonstrated that employers who have policies and support in place see improved service delivery, cost savings and increased productivity.

Many carers could continue to work with the right support and awareness from colleagues and their employer. Employers across Scotland are recognising that small changes can make a big difference.

Here is the experience of one carer who has been able to continue the work he loves because employer has been supportive of his caring responsibilities:

VOCAL – supporting employers, supporting carers

In Edinburgh over 45 employers have been working with VOCAL to create carer friendly workplaces – from upskilling managers to identify and discuss caring within their teams to building carer networks and creating flexible working opportunities.

In this video, NHS Lothian Chief Executive Tim Davison explains how supporting employees who are also unpaid carers can benefit both the employer and carer:

Get involved

VOCAL works with Edinburgh employers to create carer friendly workplaces. We help to raise awareness of carers at work and provide a package of support and training tailored to the needs of your organisation.

If you are an employer and would like to find out more please contact Tracy Cooper – or call 0131 622 6666

You can also go to our page about being a Corporate Partner of VOCAL.