One in nine people in Ireland’s workforce are juggling paid employment with a family caring role. Family Carers Ireland is asking Irish companies to join them in supporting this group of 210,000 family carers.
Today, Friday, February 22nd in The Merrion Hotel, Family Carers Ireland hosted a first of its kind breakfast briefing for employers – “Caring Employers: Future-Proofing Your Workforce.”
With very little cost or restriction, employers can provide supports and foster a compassionate community and progressive team ethos which leads to a more productive workforce for employees who are fulfilling caring roles at home. ‘Caring Employers’ is a new initiative for Family Carers Ireland and it will see them provide supports and advice for employers in this programme.
Catherine Cox, Head of Communications and Carer Engagement with Family Carers Ireland said:
“Our project highlights the importance of ensuring that these carers feel valued and cared for within their own work environments.
By offering greater flexibility and support to employees juggling paid employment and family caring, employers could significantly reduce costs caused by staff turnover, absenteeism and stress.”
A similar initiative has been in action across the UK for 10 years and it is proven that people who are accommodated at work to care for a family member have an enhanced ability to cope both at work and at home.
Caring for a loved one is a journey that can begin at any stage of life. It may initially involve helping with shopping, assisting with meals and medication management but this role can grow over time. Where this happens, companies need to ensure that support systems are in place to avoid losing valued employees who may be under considerable pressure outside of work.
The evidence shows that without effective and compassionate company policies, the current impact of staff turnover, absenteeism and the stress caused by juggling work with caring responsibilities has a significant impact on business.
The Caring Employers project will give companies the opportunity to save money, increase productivity and retain their most valuable asset – their staff. Companies with a caring policy gain staff loyalty and prevent a negative impact to the bottom line.
Some of Ireland’s biggest companies were in attendance and Family Carers Ireland would like to acknowledge and thank them for their interest in Caring Employers. These included A&L Goodbody; Alzheimers Society of Ireland; Bank of Ireland; Central Bank; The Probation Service; eBay; eShopworld; EY; ICBC Leasing; Indeed; Institute of Art, Design & Technology; Irish Life; Nutricia; Orix Aviation; Pallas Foods; Stacks Pharmacy Group and Teachers’ Union of Ireland.
Speakers included Rob Anderson, Eurofound; Katherine Wilson, Employers for Carers UK; John Dunne, CEO Family Carers Ireland; Elaine Sloan, Behaviour & Attitudes and charity patron and MC Mary Kennedy.