Carers Week raises awareness of the challenges that carers face throughout the year. We're sharing stories to highlight carers' experiences, along with resources and advice.

What is a carer?

UK Carer statistics: 54% of carers have given up, or reduced, paid work because of caring responsibilities.  - Carers Trust Social Care Survey, Carers Trust (2020)     More than 600 people quit work to look after older and disabled relatives every day. 2.6 million have quit their job to care.  - Juggling work and unpaid care, Carers UK (Jan 2019)    One in five ‘sandwich’ carers, who have responsibilities for both children and elderly parents or relatives, do not receive enough support from their employer.

"A carer is anyone, including children and adults who looks after a family member, partner or friend who needs help because of their illness, frailty, disability, a mental health problem or an addiction and cannot cope without their support. The care they give is unpaid."

- NHS England 


* Carers Trust Social Care Survey, Carers Trust (2020)  

** Juggling work and unpaid care, Carers UK (Jan 2019) 

** Opinium poll, People Management (April 2022) 

How to create a Carers Policy: top tips


When creating or amending a Carers policy, we recommend involving employees with lived experience wherever possible. If not, put yourself in the shoes of the person who will read the policy and ask yourself what they would find helpful. 

1. Get your carers involved. Working unpaid carers have the experience to make your policy as realistic and supportive as possible.

2. Use sensitive language and make sure it is easy to read. Read it out loud to ensure the wording sounds approachable and is accessible. When in doubt, write as you would speak to a person.

3. Reference any related support you offer, such as an EAP, or relevant policies your organisation has. For example, all employees in the UK have the right to request flexible working from day one of employment. Referencing a Flexible Working Policy, if you have one, would be helpful. 

4. Involve qualified HR or legal colleagues to ensure your policy is compliant with any relevant employment laws. Regularly review your policy and keep up to date with changing laws, for example, the Carers Leave Bill. 

5. Make the policy easy to find and regularly communicate where it is, particularly to managers and people leads. Employees can become a carer at any time, and may not be aware of what support you offer until it is relevant to them. 

How to create a Carers Network: top tips 


Before you create a carers network, it's important to confirm what the purpose and needs are. A lot of time and effort will go into putting the network together, so you want to ensure it will be useful for everyone involved. 

1. Define the Network: Let employees lead on the purpose and vision of the network. 

2. Respect the limited time of working carers. Allow the network to determine how often they'll meet, what platform they will use and for how long. 

3. Set specific aims and objectives. Consider creating an agenda or focusing on key topics at each meeting to maintain focus 

4. Establish boundaries to ensure the well-being of the group. You may want to appoint a facilitator whose role is to guide the conversation, manage time, and encourage equal participation.

5. Discuss relevant laws or news updates within the network and how you can integrate this into your organisation. A senior level sponsor can be helpful when it comes to advocating for support. 

How to create a Carers Survey: top tips


We recommend asking 5-10 questions. You can easily create and send a survey for free through Jotform or Google Forms.  

Include the reason for the survey and what will happen afterwards. Be clear on how you will use the information and what impact it will have on carers, for example, improving support for carers in your organisation. We would suggest giving a deadline of 2 weeks to complete the survey.   

Not everyone knows they are a carer. It can be helpful to signpost people to more information and provide a clear definition, like the one on this page. You can improve your response rate by mentioning that the survey isn’t limited to registered or paid carers.  

1. Make sure your questions are sensitive and that you give the option to skip a question if colleagues don’t feel comfortable answering. For example, adding ‘other’ or ‘would rather not say’ as a drop-down option. 

2. Ask for essential information such as who the employee is caring for, the type of care they provide, and roughly how many hours a week this includes. Ask what support the carer is aware of or currently uses in the workplace. This will help provide a baseline for future surveys, and help you understand needs and awareness levels. 

3. Ask for feedback: Take this opportunity to find out what workplace support options could be improved or introduced to help carers juggle their caring responsibility and work.

4. Build trust: make sure to say if the survey is anonymous and that any information is confidential. Sharing personal information with your workplace can be nerve-wracking. 

5. Follow through. Share the results of the survey and explain how you will use this to further support working carers. Even if next steps take time, employees will appreciate being kept in the loop. 

Support for carers

If you're looking after someone with a life-limiting condition, we have resources that can help you, from caring for someone at home, to juggling caring and work, and what to do when someone you are caring for dies.

Explore the resources for carers
A stock photo of someone being cared for in their own home

Carers rights and support

Helpful signposting


Our Compassionate Employers programme is a workplace support programme that helps employers support their employees who have caring responsibilities, or who have been bereaved.

You can join free webinars, sign up to our e-newsletter for helpful advice, guidance and events, or explore our online resources.

We've also included a range of helpful resources for carers, below.