Best Practice for Carers

Top Tips for Employers

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We asked the presenters from our popular webinar last month each to give us three Top Tips as a follow-up.

 Jo Broadbent Counsel Knowledge Lawyer, Hogan Lovells 

New Best Practice for Carers: An Interactive Webinar on Carer’s Leave and Creating a Leading Policy

  1. Many employers are seeing the offer of paid leave as part of their DEI strategy, as a way to support a section of the workforce who may be less likely to benefit from policies aimed at new parents, for example. The Labour Party is actively considering introducing paid carer’s leave if it wins the general election, so now may be a good time to get ahead of the curve, even if budgets only allow for limited amounts of paid leave.
  2. Be flexible where you can, for example by allowing employees to flex their hours or place of work to accommodate short-term caring responsibilities. This won’t always be possible, particularly in customer-facing roles, so explain why flexibility isn’t possible if this is the case, and work with the employee to discuss arrangements that might be suitable.
  3. Ensure your policies explain the range of options for time off and when it might be appropriate to use different types of leave. Help employees navigate what has become quite a complicated legal framework – and make sure line managers are trained on the various rights and know how to respond to requests appropriately.


Jennifer Liston-Smith Head of Thought Leadership, Bright Horizons 

New Best Practice for Carers: An Interactive Webinar on Carer’s Leave and Creating a Leading Policy

  1. Ensure caring is visible and recognised.

This can include recognising carers in a whole host of ways, for example:

  • featuring examples of people’s stories in internal news
  • including carers alongside parents and others in any discussions / working groups about subjects such as flexible working
  • Senior leaders ‘caring out loud’ and being willing to mention how they work their diaries around any specific caring commitments
  • a more formal scheme such as a Carer’s Passport (a way of identifying carers and ensuring any specific working arrangements follow the team member even if they move to a new role)
  1. Provide practical support.

Flexibility is important and line manager conversations can be pivotal, but nothing quite beats having support provided at the point of need, in those ‘moments that matter’.

  • Back-up care is welcomed all round: supporting work continuity for the team and at the same time carers report feeling engaged, loyal and with enhanced wellbeing and reduced stress.
    Our just-published Work+Family Snapshot client employee research shows that of those with adult care responsibilities 46% had care breakdowns in a year, with nearly half (48%) of these facing a breakdown of 5 days or more and almost a fifth (19%) 10 days or more.
  • You can also provide helplines and concierge services to guide decision-making for ongoing care. Our own consultants report daily the sense of relief people feel when guided through the options in a clear, empathic way.
  1. Make caring a part of your culture.
  • As well as training managers to understand the types of leave as Jo suggests, you can support leaders to have better, more productive conversations.
  • Provide checklists to help managers work through the support a team member might need in a supportive, solution-focused way, with an emphasis on helping the person get through any immediate crisis and also retaining their valued skills for the longer term.
  • Support and resource internal volunteers to build a Carers Network or Employee Resource Group. 

Watch Bright Horizons Webinar with Hogan Lovells New Best Practice for Carers: An Interactive Webinar on Carer’s Leave and creating a Leading Policy On Demand Here


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