Centrica changes employment policy for carers

Centrica and Carers UK have written to employers to encourage support for carers, with the aim of helping one million carers stay in or return to work by 2020. The two organisations are also calling on the Government to introduce 5 to 10 days of mandatory paid carers leave for all employers.

Iain Conn, group chief executive of Centrica, has written to the chief executives of the UK’s 100 largest employers to encourage more support for carers and to open a dialogue sharing best practice and experience. Centrica estimates hold that companies could save up to £4.8bn a year in unplanned absences and a further £3.4bn in improved employee retention by adopting flexible working policies to support those with caring responsibilities.

Centrica itself is announcing a change to its carers policy giving employees more paid for leave, without using annual leave allowances, to meet their caring responsibilities, and will be rolling out these policy changes globally.

According to Carers UK, the number of people balancing care responsibilities with work has now grown to over five million people from the three million previously identified in 2011. However, the significant demands of caring mean that 2.6 million people have been forced to stop working altogether.

This new partnership between Centrica and Carers UK builds on an existing decade and a half relationship which has helped Centrica develop policies to support employees who are carers. This support includes paid carers leave and a thriving UK carers employee network. Centrica will aim to raise £1m over three years for Carers UK.

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