This week is Carers Week – an awareness campaign held every year to celebrate and recognise the vital contributions made by the UK's 6.5 million unpaid carers.
At HIAL, we recognise the impact caring can have on the well-being of our staff and on their ability to remain in employment with us and to fully engage at work. Research for Carers Week highlights that 4.87 million carers (75% of all carers) rate the impact that caring has on their own physical and mental health as their ‘top concern’.
In 2020 HIAL became an accredited Carer Positive Employer and we are currently progressing towards the next level of accreditation, ‘Established’. Carer Positive is operated on behalf of the Scottish Government and encourages employers to create a supportive working environment for carers in the workplace. The accreditation scheme recognises “employers who offer the best support to carers, allowing them the flexibility they often need to deliver care at home.”
Andrea Sillars, director of Human Resources, said: “We are proud that our supportive approach to our colleagues who have caring responsibilities was recognised by Carer Positive. We have a range of policies in place - for special leave, career breaks, flexi time and flexible working – which support our staff. We also have an Employee Assistance Programme which is available 24/7 for colleagues and their families and in 2021 introduced an internal network of Wellbeing Champions, all trained as mental health champions, who voluntarily support colleagues confidentially.”