Working Carers – How can HR managers help?
September 18th 2020 | Posted by phil scott
Working carers – How can HR managers help?
There are many different types of carers around the UK. They include people who care for elderly parents or people with an illness or disability. These carers are all subject to severe pressure outside of the workplace.
When you add work-related activities to the mix, this pressure becomes even more intense. This leads to issues such as stress and exhaustion. HR managers have an opportunity to help carers deal with the issues that they face by providing support in the workplace.
The support that HR Managers can put in place
There are several things that HR managers can do in order to make sure that carers are supported at work. This support can often be the difference between an employee coping with their responsibilities and them breaking down under the pressure.
Have a policy in place
If there is not a specific carer policy in place, a good HR manager should make sure that one is set up. This policy should include all information about the support that is available to carers. It should also be easy to access and its existence should be communicated to all employees.
Train managers to help carers
Managers within an organisation should be trained in how to assist employees who have caring responsibilities. They should also be trained in how to recognise that someone may need help because they are caring for someone. The most effective HR professionals make sure that this happens.
Review paid leave arrangements
Carers often have additional financial pressures due to their situation. Many top HR managers recognise this and work with management in order to secure additional paid leave facilities for careers.
Set up a network of carers in the organisation
Often, the only person who can truly understand a carer is another carer. This is why it makes sense for HR teams to become involved with setting up networks of people with caring responsibilities in the business, so that they can support each other. Of course, this can only be done with the permission of the individuals.
Implement an Employee Assistance Programme (EAP)
Often, HR managers work with management to ensure that an EAP is implemented. An EAP is paid for by the employer and provides independent support in many different areas. This support is available for all employees including careers.
Ensure that careers are aware of the support they can access outside the workplace
The best HR managers make sure that employees who are carers know how to access support both inside and outside the workplace. This includes making sure that carers are signposted to external organisations that may be able to help them.
Carers often find it difficult to balance the responsibilities of life inside and outside of work. If they do not receive the support that they need they are likely to be less productive and may go off sick.
This means that the support and assistance that is provided by HR professionals is vital to the well-being of carers and to the ongoing productivity of the business.