Why become Carer Positive?
First of all, fostering an environment where each and every member of staff feels supported and comfortable in the workplace is good employment practice.
As listed in the Employer Benefits section of this website, the benefits to employers of having ‘carer friendly’ policies and working practices can include reduced levels of stress, reduced sickness absence, lower recruitment and training costs, increased staff morale and productivity levels.
You will enhance your reputation as an ‘employer of choice’ for the growing numbers of people in the workforce and wider labour market who might need to work in a more flexible manner, thereby recruiting from a wider pool of people with valuable skills and experience.
Becoming a Carer Positive employer not only contributes to workforce management and employee engagement considerations, but also to wider corporate and community social responsibility aims .
It can also help an organisation demonstrate where they meet certain criteria linked to funding applications, and to other employer award programmes such as Healthy Working Lives award and the ‘see me’ Employer Pledge.
The Carer Positive process is aimed to be clear and straightforward, based on a simple self-assessment process, with employers describing how they meet the criteria expected at each level of the award. Where possible, this should be accompanied by evidence of their policies/activities.
The award incorporates 3 levels or stages, from ‘engaged’ to ‘established’ through to ‘exemplary’. This will enable employers to progress from one stage to the next, building from an initial level of commitment to embedding a culture of support for carers within the organisation.
These stages are cumulative, with employers only able to move to the next level once the required criteria at each stage is achieved and maintained.
It will be assumed that all employers will start at the ‘engaged’ level unless they can provide evidence that they meet the criteria of the higher levels of achievement.
The Carer Positive award scheme is designed to be flexible to suit all organisations in Scotland; suggested actions and examples are provided as a guide with employers encouraged to identify and develop their own activities as felt appropriate to their size and structure. The intention is that all organisations, across all sectors, whether small or large, can achieve each level of the award.
A key indicator of progression will be the level of carer engagement in the development of workplace support and endorsement/verification that their experience is a positive reflection of the employer’s assessment of support levels.
Evidence of how employers meet the criteria associated with each of the levels must include feedback from working carers in the organisation.