Our service for working carers

The physical and mental health of unpaid carers can suffer as a result of caring. When combined with paid work commitments, it can also 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 frequently seen in workplaces.

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 on 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 >>>

Useful websites with information about caring and working

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 Trust: use this link for factsheets and tips about working and caring >>>

Carers UK: use this link for information about rights when working and caring >>>

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

Use this link for information about the Carer's Leave Act >>>

Support in Finding Work or Training

Sheffield Futures >>> can offer support and guidance in training and finding work.

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.  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, please contact the Carer Advice Line on 0114 272 8362). Our Carer Advisors will try to help you find the right balance, or may refer you for specialist support from SOHAS.