Employee benefits aren't just an optional extra that's nice to have. Sometimes, they provide support that enables someone to stay in their job when they have other responsibilities away from work.
Research from charity Carers UK has revealed that across the UK, almost 5 million workers are juggling a paid job with caring responsibilities -- up from the 3 million recorded in the 2011 Census. That means around 15% (or one in seven) of the working population now look after an elderly, ill or disabled relative.
But every day, more than 600 people leave their job due to the demands of being a carer.
The research emphasises the need for UK employers to support the rapidly growing number of staff with caring responsibilities to stay in the workforce, Carers UK said.
The charity urged businesses to adopt 'carer friendly' workplaces and called on the Government to introduce a new right of 5-10 days of paid care leave, to help people trying to balance the demands of working and caring.
According to medical services provider RedArc, employers can offer more support either directly or via the added-value benefits within protection products such as group risk and Employee Assistance Programmes (EAPs).
Christine Husbands, managing director for RedArc, said: "Almost every employer is likely to have carers amongst their staff and if these members of staff are unable to cope with both their role at work and with their caring commitments, they may well follow the current trend and hand in their notice -- potentially leaving business-critical gaps in the workforce.
"Employers don't need to wait until they either lose staff or legislation is passed, but instead by working with their intermediary or insurance provider, they can source a policy that provides the types of support that will benefit the carers amongst their staff."
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