Stamp of approval for Wigan Council’s work supporting employees who care

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Wigan Council employees who are carers are supported and included at work, according to a new accreditation award picked up this week.

The council achieved a level two of the Carer Confident award, a scheme run by Carers UK, after receiving an impressive score of 96 per cent from the judging panel.

Leading the way, the council is the first in the North West to pick up the award and is one of only three councils across the country to achieve the accolade.

Councillor Keith Cunliffe, deputy leader of the council, said: “Nurturing an environment where our employees who also have caring responsibilities can be celebrated and embraced is incredibly important to us here at Wigan Council.

“We know that carers have a wealth of transferrable skills from their own life experiences and it’s wonderful to have been recognised for building an environment where carers can bring their whole selves – and the talents they have – to the workplace.”

The Carer Confident benchmarking scheme identifies how supportive and inclusive an employer is for staff who are also carers.

How well the employer recognises, respects and supports carers into and during employment is also taken into account.

In a report produced by Carers UK, Wigan Council was praised for its flexible working policies, wide ranging communication techniques and enhanced offers for carers.

Its carers pledge, which promises to build a welcoming and inclusive workplace for carers where they are free to express their views, opinions, and difficulties confident that their needs will be heard and recognised, was also recognised within.

Coun Cunliffe added: “We are really proud to have achieved this accreditation and hope that it will be just the beginning in our journey to even more work on including carers in future.”

According to the 2011 census there are over 36,000 carers in Wigan Borough and the council works closely with Wigan and Leigh Carers Centre to provide support and advice.

If you are a carer (whether employed by Wigan Council or a resident from the borough) there is support available.

Please visit our website for more: Support for carers (wigan.gov.uk)