Carers in the Workforce

Carers in the workforce


Many staff will be caring for someone and will not identify themselves as a carer because they see the support and help that they give, as part of their normal relationship with the person they care for. You may not live with the person you care for or you could be sharing the care with others in the family or other professionals.

Tips to help you


All employees have a right to request flexible working after they have worked for the same employer for 26 weeks (six months), as long as they haven’t already made a flexible working request within the last 12 months.

Flexible working is to help staff with caring responsibilities to continue working.

Examples include:

  • home working
  • part-time working
  • term-time
  • working staggered hours working
  • working compressed hours.

Staff may be entitled to special or dependant’s leave which is normally short-term and may be with or without pay (dependant on the duration). This is intended to help staff balance the dual demands of their home and work responsibilities at times of unforeseen need through the provision of paid or unpaid leave.

Create an emergency plan

We would advise all carers to create an emergency plan – for you and all those you look after. Having a plan in place can help ease your worries if you are not able to care for those you look after at any point in the future.

In order to create an emergency plan that fits your needs, you will need to consider:

  • the name and address and any other contact details of the person you look after
  • who you and the person you look after would like to be contacted in an emergency – this might include friends, family or professionals
  • details of any medication the person you look after is taking
  • details of any ongoing treatment needed.

Think about whether there are alternative ways of getting shopping to the person/people you care for by speaking to neighbours, family or friends.

Speak to you line manager

Discuss a contingency plan if you have to be off work to help reduce any anxieties.

Make sure your GP or medical professionals knows that you are a carer

Some GPs may be able to arrange for repeat prescriptions to be delivered to you or your local pharmacy.

If you receive support from health and social care organisations, have care provided for you through the local council or health care system, this will continue as normal. Your care provider will be asked to take additional precautions to make sure you are protected.

Find time for yourself no matter how small

Here are some ideas of things to help you with your wellbeing:

  • get out into the fresh air each day
  • call friends or family
  • learn something new
  • ask for help if you need it (remember, this does not mean you cannot manage).