Employers Encouraged to Provide Flexible Workplaces for Carers
25 March 2013 at 9:04 am
Employers are being encouraged to provide flexible working arrangements for carers by registering for the Federal Government’s Care Aware Workplaces program.
The program is reportedly designed to improve workplace arrangements for carers.
The Parliamentary Secretary for Disabilities and Carers, Senator Jan McLucas, said that having a supportive employer can make a huge difference to a carer staying in the workforce.
“By becoming a Care Aware Workplace, workplaces commit to better understanding the needs and values of carers and to encourage flexible workplace arrangements for them,” McLucas said.
“The benefits go both ways – by improving working arrangements for unpaid carers, employers can help carers balance their job with their caring role. And in turn, businesses will benefit from increased staff energy and engagement, and see a reduction in staff turnover and retraining costs.
“This is about creating a truly inclusive community. We want carers to have the opportunity to take part in all aspects of society, including the chance to participate fully in work, community and family life.”
McLucas said Australia has around 2.6 million unpaid carers, supporting family members and friends with disability, medical conditions or mental illness, or who are frail or aged.
“With more than 2 million of these carers of workforce age, many people may be surprised to learn that their colleagues may have caring responsibilities,” she said.
“The spotlight on the Care Aware Workplaces program follows the recent commitment of the Australian Government to amend the the Fair Work Act.”
Carers Australia chief executive Ara Cresswell said that all employers should show their commitment to employees by becoming a Care Aware Workplace.
“Becoming a Care Aware Workplace sends a strong message to all staff that employers understand the needs of employees and the benefits of personalised work arrangements, particularly for carers,” Cresswell said.
The program has been open to businesses since the Care Aware campaign launched in August 2012.
The government said there are 37 organisations with more than 13,696 employees already registered as Care Aware Workplaces.
The Care Aware Workplace program is free, voluntary, self-managed and open to all Australian workplaces. To register visit careaware.com.au/workplaces.