A new scheme to recognise employers who give extra help and support to carers in their workforce was launched yesterday to mark Carers’ Week.
The Carers’ Kitemark is one of the Scottish Government’s key policies to help Scotland’s estimated 660,000 carers. Under the scheme, employers will be able to sign up to demonstrate their commitment to supporting employees who provide care and support for elderly or disabled relatives.
Michael Matheson, Minister for Public Health, launched the Carers’ Kitemark, developed in conjunction with Carers Scotland, in Edinburgh yesterday.
There are some simple steps employers can take to help carers, including offering flexible hours, or access to a private phone line.
Mr Matheson said:
“There’s no doubting the benefits that carers deliver and they deserve as much support as possible for the amazing job they do. Carers make up a significant proportion of Scotland’s working population, meaning there’s a strong business case for developing carer-friendly policies. If you look after the carers in your workforce you’ll have better staff retention, better morale and higher productivity. I’d urge all employers, big and small, to consider signing up to the Carers’ Kitemark.
“This Government has invested nearly £114 million in supporting carers and their families since 2007. We have introduced the Self-directed Support Act, invested heavily in the Short Breaks Fund, and consulted on proposed new legislation to further support carers and young carers.”
Welcoming the announcement, Midlothian North and Musselburgh MSP, Colin Beattie said:
“We all know that carers provide an invaluable service and I’m very pleased to see the Government recognise their efforts by encouraging businesses to give extra support to staff with caring responsibilities as well. That support will help ease the burden placed on carers and, as the Minister said, they are likely to form a greater affinity with their employer, keeping them highly motivated.
“I’d urge all of the businesses in my constituency to sign up to the Carers’ Kitemark to ensure that carers get the recognition and support that they deserve.”