Supporting carers in the workplace
Although there is awareness of the need to support employees who care for infants and young children, many workplaces do not recognise the need to support employees who care for someone with disability, a mental health condition, chronic illness or age-related frailty.
Carers bring their unique combination of management skills and personal qualities to the workplace. There is a strong business case for employers to implement flexible work practices for all staff including gains in productivity, efficiency, diversity and staff retention.
The majority of carers are women, many of whom take on multiple caring roles during their life. Women are more likely than men to provide care for an adult child with disability and/or support ageing parents. Enabling women’s workforce participation contributes to women’s economic security and greater productivity across the economy.
There are a number of resources for employers and carers:
- Carers Australia provides information on:
- the benefits of investing in carers at work
- information on balancing work and caring responsibilities
- Workplace entitlements for carers
- right to request flexible working arrangements
- The Carers + Employers program defines best practice standards for supporting staff with caring responsibilities and includes tips for a carer-friendly workplace.
- The Australian Human Rights Commission has developed the Supporting Carers in the Workplace toolkit (PDF).