More than three million people in the UK juggle care with work and NEWCIS works closely with employers to help both them and their employees cope with the complexities of balancing work with care.
We are also working hard to raise awareness of new legislation being introduced in 2016 that changes the definition of carer, placing more responsibility on employers, local authorities and the voluntary sector.
The Carer’s Act changes the definition of a carer and places a new duty on local authorities and local health boards to promote individuals’ well-being, including children, adults in need and carers.
NEWCIS Flintshire, together with partner organisations, has also produced a document called the Carer Friendly Employer Recognition (CFER) Standards. It is designed to provide information about carers, the benefits of investing in carers and the standards required to achieve recognition.
The CFER standards have been piloted across a range of organisations from micro companies and small and medium-sized organisations to a county council. Feedback from those involved in the pilot has been positive, suggesting that for many organisations the small changes required have made a big difference to practices that benefit both employer and employee. Since the pilot, other organisations have also achieved the CFER standards, with more currently working towards them.
Our aim is to encourage as many employers as possible to adopt these standards and to make the often very small changes that make a big difference to the lives of carers. Too often we find a misguided perception of what constitutes caring and the role of the carer.
The smallest changes to a carer’s job can make a huge difference. For example, NEWCIS worked with a retail company that stipulated that employees couldn’t have their mobile phones with them while working. One employee, who cared for an elderly relative, needed to be contactable at all times. Once the issue was raised with managers, the employee was permitted to have their phone with them, giving them peace of mind that their relative could contact them in an emergency.
To request a copy of the CFER standards or to find out more please contact the Carer Friendly Employer Recognition Co-ordinator Simone Perry. Simone is based at NEWCIS in Mold on: 01352 752525 and can provide additional advice and support to help businesses achieve the Carer Friendly Employer Recognition Award.
The award has been recognised by Welsh Government and is highlighted in the Refreshed Carers Strategy for Wales 2013 as part of the commitment to carers and employment.
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