This year Carers Rights Day is being held on Thursday 26th November.
The national awareness day aims to ensure carers are aware of their rights and know where they can access help and support, as well as helping to highlight to the wider public the needs of carers.
In May 2020 Fosters Solicitors were proud to become the first Norfolk company to receive the ‘Carer Friendly Tick Award – Employer’ in recognition of their support for colleagues who are family carers.
It is estimated that in the UK today 6.5 million people are unpaid carers, helping to support loved ones who might be older, disabled or seriously ill. Three in five of us will be responsible for caring for someone in our lifetimes.
For this reason, it is vital that carers know how to access the support they can receive and their rights. Fosters are one of the organisations who are joining in to lend their voice to help raise awareness of carers and their rights.
The employment team at Fosters have also shown their practical support and compiled some useful information on rights in the workplace – which can be found here.
One of the ways Fosters works to identify and support carers is their specific carers and flexible working policy, which aims to provide an internal support network across their branches and enables staff to request either short or long-term changes to contracted hours, helping them to balance their commitments. (The Carer Friendly Tick applications are all assessed by carers and this policy was one of the ways they were seen to have carer friendly practices in place).
Head of Staff Care at Fosters, Heather Brown commented: “We understand that carers have to balance huge home responsibilities whilst trying to achieve a good career and we wanted to look at ways we could help support our staff who found themselves in this position. We understood that sometimes things change very quickly and sometimes without any warning as well, and you can find yourself suddenly in the position of being a carer, and the impact this will have on somebody’s life.
“We already had a flexible working policy in place for all staff at Fosters. But we wanted to look at this further, to see whether it fully supported those with caring responsibilities and to see if there was anything more that we could do to help those staff who were carers.”
Kerry Read, a Trainee Solicitor at Fosters and carer herself, added: “The Carers project at Fosters has been a fantastic opportunity to be involved in. It has helped staff come together in their responsibilities and also raised awareness about how important it is to communicate with your employer in the event you are required to care for somebody. Fosters offer a wide range of support for carers and actively encourage open conversation around the subject.”
If you are organisation who would like to find out more about Caring Together’s Carer Friendly Tick Awards please click here.
You can also watch Heather Brown from Fosters explaining more about what they have done and why: