Juggling work alongside carer responsibilities can be challenging which is why we are passionate about creating family-friendly practices that work for our people, customers and our business.
These efforts have been recognised by the UK’s leading work-life organisation, Working Families, who awarded us the Top Employers for Working Families ‘Best for Carers and Eldercare’ Award.
We believe that supporting carers in the workplace is a vital part of being a good employer. By taking care of our people, we are able to create an inclusive and diverse workforce who feel appreciated, engaged and able to reach their full potential. And it’s good for business too because with 1 in 5 carers across the UK having to give up work to meet their carer responsibilities [note 1] we’re able to retain our skilled and talented workforce needed to provide a great service for our customers. Through increased retention, we estimate around £7m has been avoided in recruitment and absenteeism costs.
Centrica is one of few large companies to offer paid leave for carers and around 1,000 employees have benefitted from this support over the last 12 months. Whether it’s working reduced hours, different shifts or from home, employees also have the right to flexible working so that they can better balance work around caring responsibilities.
In addition to seeking support from line managers, employees can source valuable advice from our 1,000-strong employee-led carers network which has been in existence for over a decade. We have also launched a new online portal for working parents and carers to give them easy access to a range of family-friendly resources which include back-up eldercare and support webinars for working carers.
Our industry-leading approach to employees with carer responsibilities is making a real difference. One employee said: “I have gained significant benefit from the approach Centrica takes to people with caring responsibilities…I have been able to work in a flexible way that has enabled me to balance complex caring responsibilities while delivering on my work activities. Without the understanding and support of the company, my caring responsibilities would be difficult to balance with my workload and both would suffer.”
But we want all working carers to receive the support they deserve, irrespective of whether they are our employees or not. To do this, we share learnings and chair Employers for Carers. We also contributed to a Government report by Dr Ros Altmann, which highlighted the need for flexible working opportunities to attract carers and older workers back to the workplace.
We will continually engage our employee carers to increase understanding of the challenges they face and explore how best we can support them.
Want to know more about how we are creating a great place to work? Read our stories.
 Carers UK