Retaining the carer workforce: five key strategies to support carers

The 2018 National Employment Solutions Conference will be held at Twin Towns Services Club, Tweed Heads, NSW next month over the 8th – 9th October.

The conference provides the opportunity to be involved through presenting, learning, engaging, networking and collaborating with other professionals within the employment sector.

Joining us at the conference is Ms Amy Cullinan, Project Co-coordinator – Employers and Carers Network at Carers NSW who will present on ‘Retaining the carer workforce: five key strategies to support carers.

Ms Amy Cullinan

Abstract

One in every eight Australian employees’ balances paid work with unpaid care for a friend or family member who has a disability, mental illness, chronic condition or terminal illness, or who is frail aged. As Australia’s population ages, an unprecedented number of employees will take on caring responsibilities.

Juggling work and care can be challenging. Many working carers report having to alter or reduce their working hours, refuse opportunities or promotions, or exit the workforce altogether. As most working carers are aged 45-64, this represents a significant loss of skill, experience and corporate knowledge for employers.

With the right support, carers can remain in the workforce. This support does not have to be costly or onerous for employers to implement. Indeed, there is growing evidence that providing specific workplace support for carers can reduce recruitment and training costs, and increase staff productivity and morale.

This presentation will explore five key strategies to support carers to remain in employment including; mechanisms to identify carers in the workforce, carer-inclusive policies, workplace flexibility, practical support, and building a ‘care aware’ workplace culture. These strategies have been drawn from local and international research as well as findings from the Employers and Carers Network – an innovative program funded as part of the NSW Government’s Carers Strategy 2014-2019.

Biography

Amy Cullinan co-ordinates the Employers and Carers Network at Carers NSW. She supports employers to develop more flexible, carer-friendly workplaces so they can retain staff members who are caring for a family member or friend. Amy holds a Master of Social Work and has a background in social policy, community development and case work.

For more information on the 2018 National Employment Solutions Conference and to secure your spot, please visit www.employmentsolutions.net.au

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