Members Virtual Networking Event - Hybrid working and carers: Building on the lessons from COVID-19 | March 2022

Employers for Carers (EfC) hosted the first member networking event of the year on Wednesday 30 March. The theme was Hybrid working and carers: Building on the lessons from COVID-19.

The event was opened by Carers UK’s Chair Nick Baird who welcomed the newest EfC members who have joined since the last networking event in October 2021. He also congratulated the most recently accredited Carer Confident employers which takes the total to 48 organisations achieving the benchmark.

Carers UK’s Chief Executive Officer, Helen Walker, continued with a round-up of news from Carers UK including the annual State of Caring conference and Carers Rights Day where over 100 activities were registered and a record amount of EfC members raising awareness through lunch and learns. She also drew attention to the research report Supporting carers at work: Opportunity and imperative that was launched on Carers Rights Day. Helen followed by mentioning the current partnerships that Carers UK are engaged in and that EfC member Bank of England had chosen the organisation as a Charity of the Year until 2023. She also highlighted Carers UK’s most recent research Under pressure: Caring and the cost of living crisis showing that just under half (45%) of carers are currently unable to manage their monthly expenses.

Finally, Helen flagged the upcoming Carers Week campaign which will be held from 6-12 June with the theme being announced as Making caring visible, valued and supported.

Four EfC members provided updates on the work they have been doing in their own organisations to offer hybrid working and support for carers. Insights included implementing new working patterns, support for line managers, staff surveys, mental health support and hosting speakers from condition-specific organisations. All speakers mentioned the importance of ensuring carers are listened to and that no one size fits all when it comes to supporting carers in the workplace.

A lively and thought-provoking Q&A session followed with many participants sharing their own experiences at their organisations. Nick Baird concluded the event, thanking all attendees and mentioning the possibility of an in-person event later this year.