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Take Care: How to be a great employer for working carers

New book by Professor David Grayson provides a practical guide to help employers better understand and support employees with caring responsibilities

Bingley, United Kingdom, 10 July 2017 – With statistics showing that in the UK one in nine employees are caring for a loved one at the same time as trying to hold down a job, a new book provides a practical guide for employers on how to better understand and support employees with caring responsibilities.

Take Care: How to be a great employer for working carers by Professor David Grayson includes practical examples from more than fifty employers from around the world – ranging from global enterprises to NGOs, and from small businesses to public sector -   on how to support employees juggling work with caring for a dependent loved one.

As populations age around the world, people work until they are older, and welfare support declines, the number of people voluntarily caring for another will grow. This will impact employers and carers even further if action is not taken to support those working carers. 

Take Care also features the personal stories of individuals of different levels of seniority, who have successfully championed change to support carers in the workplace.

“The average UK workforce today will have at least one in every nine employees who are juggling their job with caring for a loved one. In Australia, this is 1 in 8. In Canada, this is 1 in 3. They may be caring for a parent or elderly relative; a partner; a disabled son or daughter; or a close friend”, Professor Grayson explains. 

“Many working carers simply give up on juggling work, caring and personal life and quit their jobs. This is bad for them, bad for employers who often lose their most experienced and committed employees, and bad for society, because carers who quit employment will have smaller retirement pots and be more dependent on the State in later life.” 

The statistics clearly show that there is a definite bottom-line need for employers to take these situations into account and develop clear policies to support those in that position. Despite the demands and pressures that caregivers are under, many organizations offer little practical support to employees.

The book is aimed at employers of all sizes around the world that would like to understand why they should look after their employees juggling work with looking after a loved one. As well as discussing the issues that working carers face, the book outlines an ‘Action Checklist’ for employers that will help them to become great employers for working carers.  This checklist is broken down into the ‘5 Ps’ - Preparation, Policy, Promotion, Practice and Peer Support.

“This is an urgent and growing challenge for employers. Smart (as well as responsible) employers understand the business as well as the moral case for helping employees with caring responsibilities to stay in work.”

Professor Grayson runs the Doughty Centre for Corporate Responsibility at the Cranfield School of Management.  He believes caring for working carers is the new frontier in responsible workplaces. He has also had personal experience of being a working carer, as he spent years caring for both his father and mother.

Professor Grayson was recently interviewed by Cranfield about the importance of support for working carers and his own experiences. Watch the interview here:

Take Care: How to be a great employer for working carers is published by Emerald and available from 10 July.

About Professor David Grayson
David Grayson was born and grew up near Sheffield, in the North of England. He has been an international campaigner for responsible business and a social entrepreneur, starting or running several public-private-community partnerships. These have been focused on small business development, youth enterprise, disability rights and more recently, the role of business in society. In 2007, he was appointed to run the new Doughty Centre for Corporate Responsibility at the Cranfield School of Management in the UK. He chairs the charity Carers UK. All royalties from his book go directly to Carers UK. He lives in central London.

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