Renfrewshire Council has proven its commitment to its workforce, following it’s recognition as a Carer Positive employer.
Carer Positive is a Scottish Government funded initiative which recognises employers who offer the best support to working carers, allowing them the flexibility they often need to continue to provide care at home for their loved ones.
Renfrewshire Council has been presented with the “engaged” level of Carer Positive, recognising the commitment made to support carers through workplace policies and practices – for example the Carers Leave Policy, introduced in 2018, which provides employees who are primary carers with access to additional paid leave to help better balance their work and caring commitments.
Employees are already experiencing these positive benefits. Zara Kerr, a Housing Assistant for Renfrewshire Council said: “We all know the importance of having a positive physical and mental health and there are now more carers trying to balance all aspects of their life.
“I’ve been able to use the Carers Leave Policy to care for my mother without having to use all of my allocated annual leave. It’s allowed me to continue with my role as her primary carer, without her feeling like a burden and without having a detrimental effect on either of our mental or physical wellbeing.”
Sue McLintock from Carer Positive, who came to Renfrewshire to present the award, said: “We are delighted to recognise Renfrewshire Council as a Carer Positive employer.
“The local authority has demonstrated a genuine commitment to supporting staff with caring responsibilities and developing a culture where they feel valued and will undoubtedly benefit in terms of their health and wellbeing. It is encouraging to see the importance placed on making life better for carers, not just within the authority, but in the wider community as well.”
Renfrewshire Council will now work towards achieving the second level of Carer Positive, involving carers in the development of the processes and policies that will best support them and establishing a Carers Peer Network Forum with the aim of enabling employees who are carers to share experiences, access training opportunities and raise awareness of local and national support available.
Councillor John Shaw, Convenor of the Finance, Resources and Customer Services Policy Board, said: “Reaching the first level of the Carer Positive award is a great step for Renfrewshire Council, and shows the commitment to supporting those employees in caring roles to maintain their health, wellbeing and life beyond caring.
“I look forward to seeing the support network grow further as the Council progresses through the next two levels of Carer Positive.”
For more information on becoming a Carer Positive employer, visit www.carerpositive.org.