Carers UK has launched a blueprint to help companies and services support millions of customers with caring responsibilities, supported by British Gas.

Research from charity Carers UK shows unpaid carers are finding it difficult to help manage day-to-day services such as telephone, banking and financial assistance on behalf of the person they look after. The blueprint has been produced in response to this.

Carers UK’s research found unpaid carers often struggle to manage services provided by both public and private companies.

It also found that 40% of carers do not have a formal arrangement in place for managing the affairs of the person they care for. The expense of putting this in place, the time it takes and the challenge of having difficult conversations with the person they care for were all cited as barriers.

The Carer Friendly Company Blueprint sets out how any organisation can embed a carer friendly approach in its culture - by reflecting carers in the company’s values, supporting staff who have caring responsibilities, as well as training all staff to understand caring and bring in practices that support their customers who are carers.

"Too many unpaid carers find it challenging helping manage their loved one’s affairs on top of providing many hours of physical and emotional support. Having to communicate with services that do not understand their needs can make life even more stressful. With two thirds of UK adults expected to provide unpaid care in their lifetimes it is clear this is an issue that could affect any one of us. It is vital that services and wider organisations recognise the increasing numbers of carers and their role in managing accounts by introducing policies and processes that support them"

Helen Walker, Chief Executive Carers UK

As well as supporting the blueprint British Gas has introduced a number of initiatives, including a ‘Carers Flag’ on its customer database, allowing customer service agents to easily identify those who could benefit from the support available. This help includes the option to be the named nominee on the account of the person they are caring for, subject to their consent, making it easier for the carer to manage the account.

British Gas rolled out training on unpaid carers and the use of our carers flag across its customer contact workforce and third-party suppliers last year, to raise awareness of caring and how they can be identified during customer contact calls. The training also covered what is involved with caring for someone and why carers often need more support.

"Our ambition is to make our customers’ lives easier. The carers flag means our customer service teams can easily identify carers to provide the right advice and help them manage the accounts of those they care for. We know taking small steps like introducing our carers flag can make a big difference for both carers in our community and our employees with caring responsibilities. As awareness of the issue of unpaid caring in society grows, we need to be ready to help our customers when they need us most."

Matthew Bateman, Managing Director, British Gas Services and Solutions

Information, support and advice is vital to help carers set up formal arrangements which can be complex. To support carers with getting a Lasting Power of Attorney, approaching companies such as banks and utility providers, and managing health and care matters, Carers UK also today launches a suite of online resources for unpaid carers.


Carers UK is a charity led by carers, for carers – their mission is to make life better for carers. For practical advice and information about caring, go to or email or call our helpline 0808 808 7777.