3.12. Unpaid Carers
Promoting awareness and flexibility for unpaid carers in the workplace though Carer Positive.
What we have achieved
One in seven Scots are unpaid carers. Many carers give up work because the job of juggling their work and caring responsibilities simply becomes too much. Supporting carers to manage this difficult balance can deliver real benefits to employers as well as helping individuals and their families.
We are continuing to support the Carer Positive employer accreditation scheme which recognises employers with flexible employment policies for staff who are also unpaid carers.
Carer Positive continues to grow with over 200 employers now accredited, covering over 440,000 employees across Scotland. Throughout the course of the pandemic, Carer Positive has been continuing to support employers remotely, sharing good practice in relation to working carers, and running online events and learning sessions. Where possible, we also signpost the scheme to carers themselves through ministerial correspondence and in stakeholder engagement with carer groups. An independent review of Carer Positive concluded in winter 2019.
Our future priorities
The implementation of the independent review recommendations has been paused for now due to pandemic restrictions however this will be picked up when possible. We will continue to increase employer awareness of the scheme and the number of employers signed up.
Historic Environment Scotland: a Carer Positive employer
Historic Environment Scotland, with 1,400 employees, was awarded Carer Positive accreditation in November 2020. HES has developed a range of activities to support staff who are carers and has been working closely with local carers centre VOCAL (Voices of Carers across Lothian) to encourage carers to identify themselves and seek support from line managers and the HES Wellbeing group. Flexible working options and monthly awareness campaigns help signpost carers to relevant information and advice. Looking to the future, HES plan to launch a new Carers Policy, training for managers, and staff Carers Network in 2021.
The Carer Positive team provide free support and resources to help employers understand the business benefits of good practice and to achieve all levels of the Carer Positive award.