Members of the Corporate Resources Committee, have expressed their delight at the launch of a Carer Positive Policy across the organisation.
The policy forms part of the Council’s commitment to promoting itself as a ‘Carer Friendly Organisation’ and the introduction of the policy has taken place in tandem with Carers Week, which is a national campaign running until 11 June.
Councillor Derek Louden, Chair of the Corporate Resources Committee, expressed his thanks to those involved in developing the new policy and commented:
“The Policy has been developed in recognition of the number of individuals who undertake unpaid caring responsibilities alongside their employment with Highland Council.
“At its heart, the policy is intended to create a working environment where unpaid carers feel valued and supported, whilst also acknowledging the importance of retaining experienced members of staff and reducing absence.
“Staff will be able to register and can request up to five days paid leave to undertake caring responsibilities and to assist with managing unexpected emergencies, such as a breakdown in care arrangements, hospitalisation or appointments.”
Cllr Louden concluded:
“With a workforce of approximately 10,000 employees, it’s important to recognise that we may all have caring responsibilities at some point and it is therefore vital for the Council to have a combination of practical help, policies and procedures in place which provide the support and flexibility that is required for individuals to deliver caring responsibilities.”
It is estimated that 300,000 individuals currently have caring responsibilities across Scotland and that a sizeable proportion of these individuals might also have workplace responsibilities alongside their caring commitments.
Meanwhile, Carers Week, which is an annual, national campaign running until 11 June, is an opportunity to recognise and celebrate the vital contributions made by the several million unpaid carers across the UK.
The campaign aims to ensure carers are recognised and respected for the contribution they make to families, their communities and workplaces.
It provides the opportunity to highlight and acknowledge the difficulties carers may be facing and for the Council to sign-post to information and support which enables carers to continue to care safely.
Furthermore, the event also plays an important role to help people who don’t think of themselves as having caring responsibilities to identify as carers and ultimately access the wide range of support and financial entitlements available locally and nationally.
More information is available here: https://www.carersuk.org/scotland/