Support for staff who may be carers

SAVE ITEM

18 / 2 / 2009

The government estimates that there are currently 5.3 million carers of working age, 3.5 million of whom are working either full or part-time and provide some form of unpaid care. Many carers struggle to balance their work and caring responsibilities. Others feel they have to make a choice between the two.

Carers provide unpaid support, and caring for someone is not only physically exhausting but emotionally stressful, with such pressures resulting in many carers feeling unsupported, isolated and alone.

The government estimates that there are currently 5.3 million carers of working age, 3.5 million of whom are working either full or part-time and provide some form of unpaid care. Many carers struggle to balance their work and caring responsibilities. Others feel they have to make a choice between the two.

There is support available to carers, but it’s a matter of knowing where to go to find it. Some organisations have been set up by carers themselves and offer support, advice and help.

Finding support

If a member of your team is in the position of having to care for someone, they may wish to consider getting a ‘carers assessment’. This helps them to find out if they would benefit from support and whether they are eligible for any services or if any local organisations would be able to assist them in their caring role.

Assessments can be obtained from the individual's local council social services department.

Who to contact

on 0808 808 7777.Carers UKCarers can acces some support, advice or help from their local 'carers centre’, who will be able to provide them with information and support. You can find out more about carer support in your local area, by ringing the carers' line at

Carer vouchers

An economic analysis report published in July 2007 revealed the economic benefits of providing a tax break for care vouchers to employees to assist them in balancing work with their caring responsibilities.  The research shows that the vouchers would be an effective and affordable way to bring extra funding to older and disabled people, and would help businesses to retain the skills and experience of their employees. 

Tax exemptions on care vouchers for working carers An economic analysis: July 2007Read the report:

Young carers

Many children and young people live with and help to care for a parent, brother, sister or other relative who for whatever reasons is unable to care for themselves.

Often a young carer’s needs go unnoticed because they are worried about telling others or worried about what will happen if social services get involved. Social Services will try to give a young carer the opportunity to put their side forward and to come to an agreement that is in everyone’s best interest. You local social services department will be able to provide further advice.

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