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26 Apr 2019

Working Potential - focus group with local carers in Wigan

This month in Wigan, our Working Potential providers have been running focus groups with local carers about their barriers to employment and what support they would find helpful to enable them to return to work. Here are some of the key findings from the groups:


  • Employers should have a better understanding of the caring role and the barriers that they face. This will enable them to provide better support to carers.
  • More flexibility around planned appointments and how missed time is worked back. This will reduce sickness absence and also improve productivity as carers can better manager their workload at a time and place that wouldn’t increase stress levels.
  • More training for line managers on how to support carers balance work and care. This will ensure consistency across an organisation and avoid support only being given by more sympathetic managers.
  • The most repeated point was that special leave should be made available so that carers didn’t have to use up all their holiday entitlement to care and then have none left to rest and recuperate themselves.


Practical steps on how employers can become more carer-friendly can be found in the Working Carers Toolkit.


In other Working Potential related news, one of our Carers from Bolton who gave up work due to her caring responsibilities and her own health issues, is now running for local council! Vickie joined Working Potential to feedback the barriers that she and other Carers face balancing employment and caring, not feeling ready for employment herself. However, with support from her coach, Vickie is now in a very different place. To read more about her story click here.