Sainsbury’s launches flexible working carers initiative

Sainsbury’s has announced the launch of a partnership with Carers UK to promote flexible working to staff with caring responsibilities.

The supermarket giant has agreed to join the Leadership Group of Employers for Carers. Employers for Carers is a membership forum of employers committed to working carers, chaired by BT and supported by the specialist knowledge of Carers UK.

The partnership – a first for a UK retailer – means that Sainsbury’s, Carers UK and Employers for Carers will work closely to develop the supermarket’s flexible working policies for staff with caring responsibilities. The latest research from Carers UK shows that around one in eight adults are carers and around one in seven in any workplace. Sainsbury’s calculates that over 20,000 of its 150,000 staff could have caring responsibilities.

Gwyn Burr, Sainsbury’s Customer Service and Colleague Director, said: “We recognise that many of our colleagues have caring responsibilities and that this has been increasing steadily over recent years. It’s an important issue for our colleagues and we want to support them.

“At Sainsbury’s we are proud to have the very best colleagues in retail so we hope that this new partnership will support our existing colleagues whilst at the same time potentially attracting new colleagues who might have caring commitments. We hope that other companies will follow our lead in recognising this vital issue and supporting their colleagues.”

Madeleine Starr, Head of Policy Development at Carers UK, said: “Carers UK warmly welcomes this new partnership. Carers UK has been working with employers for many years to help them retain and support their staff, resulting in demonstrable business benefits. Supporting carers in the workplace is not just about helping families to manage their daily lives but it is also about helping employers to retain talent and healthy, productive staff in their workforce which is vital for a strong economy.”

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