Our service for working carers

Carers registered with Sheffield Carers Centre can be referred for specialist employment advice provided as part of our contract by Sheffield Occupational Health Advisory Service (SOHAS). An increasing number of unpaid carers take on that role whilst also having a part-time or full-time job. Juggling the two things can be a challenge and it may be useful to get expert guidance on managing both care and work responsibilities.

The physical and mental health of unpaid carers can suffer as a result of caring and, when combined with paid work commitments, can make unpaid carers more susceptible to poor performance and/or increased absence from work. The number of sandwich carers – those who take care of young children at the same time as elderly relatives – is on the increase, and this type of care commitment is frequently witnessed in employment settings.

SOHAS can give specialist and confidential advice, guidance and support to unpaid carers and their employers in Sheffield to help promote successful and productive working relationships. They can advise on a range of topics from employment rights and flexible working, to more detailed guidance on the Equality Act 2010 and ‘reasonable adjustments’.

Advisers at SOHAS regularly advocate on behalf of unpaid carers to address issues such as a lack of understanding or awareness as well as to signpost useful resources for both carer and employer. In a recent case, a carer was supporting his partner who was in remission from cancer, along with her elderly parents and his own health condition. SOHAS spoke directly to the employer to arrange home working and a gradual phased return to work which reduced pressure on the carer. This allowed him to return to work much sooner without exhausting his annual leave allowance.

If you would like to speak to an experienced and friendly adviser, either ask at the Carers Centre or contact SOHAS directly on 0114 275 760 or visit our website www.sohas.co.uk

Useful websites

The following websites provide information about finding the balance, alongside a few tips for talking to employers about flexible working or taking time off when needed:

Carers UK – working and caring – goo.gl/4gtB7S

NHS – working carers’ rights – www.nhs.uk/conditions/social-care-and-support/employment-rights-for-carers-flexible-working-unpaid-leave/?

Macmillan – Rights while working and caring – goo.gl/qkmNnT

Macmillan – Work and Cancer – goo.gl/4W9N1X

Carers’ Rights at Work

The following links are more focussed on carers’ rights within employment:

Carers UK – Carers and Employment – goo.gl/X5ACGx

Macmillan – Rights at Work – goo.gl/hLd6cc

Support in Finding Work or Training

Sheffield Futures can offer support and guidance in training and finding work, whatever age you are.

It may be that finding work, or an apprenticeship is the last thing on your mind and you’re focussed at the moment on your caring role.  However, it may be that you’d quite like to know what is out there but circumstances have meant you haven’t had much guidance or support with where to look, or you’re unsure how to get experience.  Perhaps you’ve worked in the past but had to give it up because of caring for someone at home and would now like to look into options again.  Or perhaps, because of your caring role, you would only be able to do a few hours but would still value training in something – perhaps for later on.

Sheffield Futures offers a wide range of support to enable people of all ages to look into what job they might most enjoy doing, then they can help to identify the relevant training and support you into finding a suitable job.  They are also able to offer advice and guidance such as helping you to write your CV and to support you to develop confidence in interviews.

Many of you, as carers, have a huge amount of skills which an employer would love – you may not realise you have them but simply by doing the role you do, you will have acquired them.  Somewhere like Sheffield Futures can help you to develop these further, and help you to present them to an employer when applying for a job or training.

If its further education or an apprenticeship which you’re interested in instead, that’s also something which Sheffield Futures can offer advice and guidance with.

For further information, and to sign up to their regular e-bulletin (which contains job adverts and useful guidance/tips) please follow this link – goo.gl/MaHxRv. You can also ‘drop-in’ to Sheffield Futures at Star House, 43 Division Street, S1 4GE.

If you’re finding it difficult to balance education or work with your caring role, or feel you may do so in the future, please contact the Carer Advice Line on 0114 272 8362). Our Carer Advisors will be happy to discuss this with you to help you to find the right balance, or maybe refer you for specialist support from SOHAS.

Other Resources:

ADASS – Top tips for supporting working carers – goo.gl/HPBwLv


Revised 08 January 2018