Helping Carers Stay in Work
South Tyneside Council has been recognised for the steps it is taking to help its employees who juggle their roles with caring responsibilities.
The certificate of achievement was awarded in recognition of its efforts to create an inclusive workplace where carers are recognised, respected and supported.
As such, it hopes to lead by example and encourage other local employers to follow suit.
Councillor Ruth Berkley, Lead Member for Adults, Health and Independence, said: "One in seven people in the workplace is also caring for someone who is older, ill or disabled. However, without the right support carers sometimes feel they have no option but to give up their job or reduce their working hours to enable them to carry out their caring responsibilities.
"That's why it is so important to build a supportive workplace for all staff - including for those who are or will become carers. It is both good employment practice and good business sense.
"Having been a carer, I know how challenging it can be, and seeking support can be hard and stressful. Knowing that help is out there is important. It is also vital that those who are balancing caring and employment know their rights too. I am pleased that as a Council we have our own carers policy and support our staff to balance their responsibilities, which gives a choice to those who need it."
The Council is also a member of Carers UK Employers for Carers which gives employers and employees with a caring role access to digital resources providing information and support. Free digital resources are available to all residents and Small and Medium Sized Organisations in South Tyneside at www.efcdigital.org using login code of EFC1953
The Council is now working towards the Level Two (Accomplished) award with the ultimate aim of becoming a level Three Ambassador employer.
Councillor Paul Dean, Lead Member for the Voluntary Sector, Partnerships and Equalities added: "As a Carer Confident employer, we recognise the importance of retaining valued members of staff, reducing absence and unnecessary recruitment costs, and increasing staff resilience, engagement and productivity.
"We also understand the importance of working with local employers to raise their awareness and help them to support their employees with caring responsibilities to help prevent carers leaving the labour market.
"It is in everyone's interests to retain talented staff wherever they work. This is a key element of the South Tyneside Pledge so I hope other employers will follow our lead and be inspired to do more for working carers."