Co-Op Plan to Help Carer Employees

Article excerpt

THE Co-operative has announced that it will provide additional support for employees who have caring responsibilities for family or friends.

The company's new carers policy will allow employees who are caring for an elderly person or someone with an illness or disability to arrange flexible working hours and take family leave. Carers will also have access to a 24-hour employee assistance programme should they need extra support.

One in 10 of the Co-operative's 100,000 employees have caring responsibilities outside work, research by the company has revealed.

According to the charity Carers Trust, there are almost six million unpaid carers in the UK who look after partners, friends or relatives. The care they provide is valued at PS119bn a year. Liz Bramley, Co-operative head of employee engagement and diversity, said: "It is vital that organisations recognise the difficulties that employees can face when combining paid work with the demands, responsibilities and additional pressures of caring. …