Carers Week 2024 – how your organisation can help

Carer’s Week 2024 (10th-16th June) is a campaign that ‘Recognises and Supports Carers in the Community’. It focuses on the important and vital role of over 5 million unpaid carers in the UK and the huge contribution they make to families and communities. Individuals and organisations come together to provide support for carers, run activities and draw attention to how important caring is. This year the theme is ‘Putting carers on the map’.

Caring is an important part of life; it holds families together and it will affect most of us at some point in our lives. Every day in the UK, 12,000 people become unpaid carers* due to demographic changes and an ageing population, not knowing where to get help which can be frightening and isolating.

Latest findings on the state of caring

Every year, publish a “State of Caring” survey.  The latest survey held in 2023 highlights some alarming findings:

  • 40% of carers surveyed said they had given up work to provide unpaid care
  • 22% of carers had reduced their working hours because of their caring role
  • 49% of carers who had given up work or reduced their working hours had seen their income reduce by over £1,000 per month
  • 60% of carers are worried about the impact of caring responsibilities on their finances.

“I can’t afford to live on what I have for two weeks until next payday, and also afford clothes and appliances if something breaks down in the home.  I can’t even afford to mend my floor, so I’m unhealthy because it’s very dirty.”

“I’m coping at the moment but feel I may have to give up my full-time job for my own mental health and wellbeing and to provide better care for my child so I will be then in a financial situation, but don’t really know what else to do.”

 “I had to leave my job to care full time for [my] mother, I feel I was pushed out of my job and now watch as my bank balance reduces constantly.  £76** is not enough to live on.”

The Carer’s Leave Act 2023 is now in force

On 6th April 2024, the Carer’s Leave Act 2023 came into force, providing all carers in employment with a new statutory right to take five days of unpaid leave from work each year to fulfil their caring responsibilities.  Whilst this gives workers some flexibility, it doesn’t help when it comes to the financial burden.  Carers UK’s ultimate goal is to introduce at least 5-10 days paid leave from work, creating tailored support for carers looking to return to work and increased health and wellbeing support at work.

While increasing numbers of organisations are recognising the importance of supporting carers in the workplace, it is essential that employers maintain flexibility as they welcome employees back to the office, so that people can juggle work and care. Creating care-related policies or being more forward thinking and introducing paid Carer’s Leave is one way to stay ahead with recruitment and retention.

Some suggestions to support Carers Week 2024 and beyond

  • Recognition ceremonies: organise a special event to recognise and celebrate the contributions of employee carers
  • Host a breakfast or lunch where carers can connect and share experiences
  • Arrange webinars or workshops about balancing work and caregiving, and promoting available support services
  • Distribute packets with information of local caregiving resources, support groups and helpful services
  • Allow carers to adjust their work hours to better manage their caregiving duties
  • Provide opportunities for carers to work from home
  • Offer programmes focused on stress management, mental health and wellbeing tailored to carers
  • Remind employees of any Employment Assistance Programmes available to them
  • Use newsletters, emails and internal communication channels to share stories of carers within the organisation and highlight the significance of Carers Week
  • Promote Carers Week on the organisation’s social media platforms to raise awareness externally
  • Offer additional paid leave specifically for caregiving duties
  • Facilitate the formation of support groups where carers can meet, share experiences and provide mutual support
  • Mentorship: pair experienced carers with those new to caregiving to provide guidance and support.

Building a supportive workplace for carers

If your organisation is interested in building a more supportive workplace for carers, Employers for Carers have launched a Carer Confident benchmarking scheme. This scheme assists employers to build a supportive and inclusive workplace for staff who are, or will become, carers and to make the most of the talents that carers can bring to the workplace.

Carer Confident also seeks to recognise employers who achieve this, and to inspire others to follow suit. The certificate of achievement is presented to employers with a UK presence who have demonstrated that they have built an inclusive workplace where carers are recognised, respected and supported.

Carer Confident employers recognise the importance of retaining valued members of staff, reducing absence and unnecessary recruitment costs, and increasing staff resilience, engagement and productivity.

If you’re looking for help with your Carer’s Leave Policy and ensuring that it’s up to date, get in touch and one of our consultants would be happy to have a chat.

* Source:

**Carer’s allowance 2023-2024 per week