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Juggling work and care is hard.

There are a number of measures organisations can make to retain talent and support employees with caring responsibilities. These changes do not need to be expensive, or represent a major change to how an organisation operates. Even a simple change such as identifying carers as defined in the Carer Recognition Act (2010), is a first step in supporting carers in the workplace.

Flexible work arrangements can make a big difference.

Changes to hours of work such as a reduction in hours or changes to start and finish times.

Changes to the patterns of work, such as 'split-shifts' or job sharing arrangements.

Changes to the location of work, such as the ability to work from home or remote offices.

Under the National Employment Standards, carers have the right to request flexible working arrangements under certain circumstances, which include 12 months of continuous employment with the same employer. A formal request must be made in writing, explain what changes are being asked for and provide an explanation for the reasons for the request. Detailed information about who is eligible and the process is available through the Fair Work website.

A guide for carers who want to talk to their manager and request flexible working arrangements can be downloaded below.

Hear from a carer.

Listen to the Carers + Employers Podcast where Rachel discusses how she unexpectedly becoming a carer for her adult daughter.

Rachel also speaks candidly about the practical and meaningful measures her workplace took, in order to support her with her caring responsibilities.

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Where to find support.

Carer Gateway provides carers with a wide range of support including carer support planning, counselling, peer support, planned and emergency respite, carer support packages and online coaching and skills courses.

Carers can access free supports through Carer Gateway by calling 1800 422 737.

The state and territory member organisations of Carers Australia support carers through policies, programs, services, and events to improve the lives of Australia’s carers.

Seek out workplace policies in regard to leave, flexible work, wellbeing and diversity and inclusion to understand options and protections.