Our service for working carers

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.

Sheffield Occupational Health Advisory Service (SOHAS) can give specialist, confidential advice 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.
You can contact SOHAS directly on 0114 275 760 or visit their 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: use this link for information about working and caring

NHS: use this link for information about working carers’ rights

Macmillan: use this link for information about  rights while working and caring

Macmillan: use this link for information about work and cancer

Carers’ Rights at Work

Carers UK: use this link for about carers’ rights in employment Carers and Employment

Macmillan: use this link for about carers’ rights in employment Rights at Work

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 to care for someone at home and would now like to look at options again. Perhaps, because of your caring role, you would only be able to do a few hours but would still value some training.

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 can also offer advice and guidance to help you write a CV and 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. Sheffield Futures can also offer advice and guidance about further education and apprenticeships.

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: use this link for some useful tips to support working carers