Guidance For Line Managers
At Queen’s we care about the physical health, mental health and wellbeing of our staff. We are committed to providing a supportive and compassionate environment, where people feel comfortable to talk openly about the things happening in their lives and to seek support, advice and information to help balance competing daily demands.
With 1 in 7 people in any workplace juggling work with caring responsibilities it is vital that line managers make carer-friendly policies work.
In the 2022 QUB staff pulse survey which had a 66% response rate (2823 staff), almost 1 in 5 (551) of respondents said they had caring responsibilities for a dependant older person (s) and almost 1 in 10 (255) of respondents said they looked after a person/persons with a disability/disabilities’.
Support and understanding from line managers towards carers makes good business sense as it can help attract and retain staff, reduce recruitment and training costs, reduce stress, increase resilience and productivity, reduce sick leave and absenteeism, increase staff morale and loyalty.
Line Managers should familiarise themselves with the Carers Website, Carers Passport and the various Queen’s work-life balance policies. They should also ensure that members of their team are aware of the dedicated Carers website go.qub.ac.uk/Carers.
Flexibility is a lifeline for working carers
This can be either formal flexible working, informal agile working, flexible leave or just adopting an overall flexible approach within the workplace, such as allowing flexibility with start and finish times, access to their mobile phone and/or remote working where the role allows.
Create a Supportive Culture
Encourage your staff to complete a Carer Passport. Once the line of communication is open, both parties can be honest about what they need and how it can be achieved.
Staff should also be made aware of the Carers Network at Queen's which can provide them with a welcoming space to meet other carers, support each other, share experiences and information and feedback to the University on relevant matters.
Queen’s have recently launched the Carer Passport, which provides a way for you to explain to your manager about your caring situation so they understand the flexibility you need.
It allows a two-way discussion about flexibility. This conversation will generally involve balancing your needs with the needs of your business area. It does not normally involve a formal change to your contract of employment.
Please find the following documents, all available via the Staff Intranet:
- a Carer Passport template (downloadable pdf)
- an example of a completed Carer Passport
- Let's Talk about Caring flyer (more information on the Carer's Passport)