As an employer you will be all too familiar with the need to retain skilled experienced staff to remain competitive. But for the 1 in 9 in your workforce who are caring for someone who is older, disabled or seriously ill, juggling paid work and caring can present real problems. How would you prioritise between an urgent call from a client and an urgent call from your elderly parent who has dementia? or to attend to your disabled child? or your partner who has Multiple Sclerosis?
Given the stresses and strains that can result from balancing multiple responsibilities inside and outside the workplace, it is unsurprising that 1 in 6 carers give up work or reduce their hours to care. But many of these employees will be your most valuable staff, the 45-64 year-olds at the peak of their careers.
By recognising the needs of carers, you can hold on to your experienced staff and reap the rewards of creating a supportive working environment for carers.
Good businesses need good people. In the current economic climate, there has never been a more important time to focus on the benefits of retaining skilled workers - and supporting your employees to work healthily and productively - rather than incurring the costs of recruiting and retraining new staff.
Caring is an issue which faces all of us. Changing demographics and an ageing population mean that 3 in 5 people will end up caring for someone at some point in their lives. The number of carers in the UK is set to grow from 6 million to 9 million in the next 30 years. This is an issue none of us can afford to ignore.