Crossroads Care Gloucestershire, a leading provider of respite and breaks for unpaid carers, issues a compelling video message to businesses, highlighting the urgent need for support towards employees who are unpaid carers.

Alarming figures reveal that tens of thousands are leaving the workforce annually due to the challenges of balancing caring responsibilities with employment.

With an estimated 5.7 million unpaid carers in the UK, and one in seven employees managing caring duties alongside work, the strain is evident. Carers UK reports a concerning trend, indicating that up to 600 people are leaving their jobs daily due to the pressures associated with their caregiving roles. This mass exodus is resulting in a significant talent drain, creating voids in the workforce that proper support could have prevented.

Critical Impact on Experienced Workforce

The demographic most likely to be working carers falls within the age range of 55-59, a segment that brings vast experience and decades of career skills to the workplace. The departure of such seasoned professionals exacerbates the impact on business operations and overall productivity.

A survey by Carers Trust underscores the challenges faced by unpaid carers, with nearly two-thirds forced to reduce working hours or exit employment due to caregiving responsibilities. Recognizing that carers are 1.6 times more likely to remain employed when supported by paid-for services, businesses are urged to consider the long-term benefits of ensuring staff access to appropriate assistance.

The Initiative for Unpaid Carers

Crossroads Care Gloucestershire has actively collaborated with employees and businesses in the region to address challenges hindering working carers’ retention in paid employment. Over the past two years, the organisation has worked closely with local employers to enhance support systems for working carers, thereby promoting staff recruitment and retention across the county.

CEO Helen Baker stresses the importance of providing support to retain valuable staff, stating, “By doing so, companies and carers can both reap the rewards.” Baker emphasizes the range of skills developed by carers through their roles—organisational capacity, patience, diligence, flexibility, and resourcefulness—highlighting them as extraordinary assets for any business.

Fostering a Supportive Workplace Culture

Creating an open workplace culture that acknowledges the challenges faced by working carers can significantly contribute to staff retention and recruitment. Crossroads Care Gloucestershire has collaborated with local employer St. James’s Place to develop an awareness video, shedding light on the daily struggles faced by carers. The video, funded by Making Carers Count, a programme led by Carers Trust, aims to encourage businesses to establish workplace peer support groups. These groups can serve as a valuable resource for carers, fostering improved work-life balance, reducing isolation, and enhancing communication between employees and managers.

To assist businesses in supporting and retaining carers in their workforce, Crossroads Care Gloucestershire offers resources and insights on their website, Caring Workplaces. The site also features working carer case studies and the impactful awareness video, viewable here, which can be shared across organisations.