We all know how tirelessly carers work for others, and here we outline some useful information specifically for working carers. 

"Unfortunately as my loved one's needs have increased, I have had to cut down on all areas of my working life. I am constantly worried about money," - a carer in East Sussex, September 2018

Sound familiar?

Perhaps you’re one of the 3 million people in the UK looking after someone who couldn’t manage without your help, and you also have a paid job?

If so, it’s likely your life has gradually become more of a logistical feat, as the needs of the person you care for become more acute. It’s important to look after your own needs as well as the person you look after, so we hope these tips from other working carers help you to shape your work-care-life balance.

Tips for working carers

  • Know your rights in the workplace – find out if your employer has a workplace policy for carers. If it doesn’t, suggesting that it creates one. See more detailed information about your rights as a carer, including in the workplace. Carers UK also has a ‘Your Rights in Work’ factsheet you can refer to.
  • It’s your decision whether or not to tell your employer about your caring role, but if your manager knows then they can offer their support and understanding. Don’t miss out on the support available to you – in a recent survey (1) 52% of unpaid carers stated that their health had been adversely affected by the delay in identifying themselves as a carer.
  • We know that carers need more time off work to help fulfil caring roles. You could write to your local MP to encourage them to support the move for creating statutory carer’s leave and instilling it as a right for carers. (2)  
  • Feeling overwhelmed? A ‘pick me up’ suggestion from the Wellness Recovery Action Plan course is simply write down all the small things that can really cheer you up, to reach for when you’re having a stressed slump. Simply reminding yourself of happier moments can help give you a boost.
  • Attend a Care for the Carers evening carers group (see below). You might also consider joining an online carers forum – see the Carers Trust website for ideas.

Evening Carers Group in Eastbourne

If you find it harder to attend one of our daytime carers groups due to work commitments, why not come along to our evening group? Join us to meet other working carers, and talk about issues that are important to you. It’s completely free, and you don’t need to register in advance - just turn up. Please share this event with others who may be interested. 

Where: Tesco Community Room, Tesco, Lottbridge Drove, Eastbourne, BN23 6QD

When: 4th Tuesday of each month, 6pm to 8pm

Find out more www.cftc.org.uk/Event/evening-carers-group-eastbourne

Email [email protected] or call us on 01323 738 390. Please let us know if you’d welcome an evening carers group in your area of East Sussex.

If you are an employer seeking to establish or improve your policy for working carers, you’ll also find some valuable suggestions to consider.

See tips for employers working with carers

References:

  1. Carers UK: Caring and isolation in the workplace, 2015
  2. Carers UK Make Connection Get Support report, Nov 2017 (https://www.theemploymentlawsolicitors.co.uk/carers-rights-day) and https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201719/cmselect/cmworpen/581/58106.htm

    Article originally published in CareLine magazine, Winter 2018 edition [PDF]