Creating a more inclusive workplace for unpaid caregivers in Australia

A new initiative looks to help employers better support employees who also have caregiving responsibilities alongside their paid jobs.
By: | October 20, 2023

Employees in Australia who are also unpaid carers for their family members will be pleased to hear about the new Carer Inclusive Workplace Initiative, a new carer-friendly workplace framework for promoting equal opportunities for unpaid carers and reducing barriers to employment. It gives employers in Australia the tools to be more inclusive of their employees who are balancing caring responsibilities in their lives alongside their paid jobs. 

It is an initiative spearheaded by Amanda Rishworth, Australia’s Minister for Social Services, and is meant to support employers to make meaningful changes within their workplace processes that can accommodate to the unique needs of carers in their employ. Organisations who participate in the initiative would get access to a virtual hub with a range of resources, templates, and reference guides.

Organisations that excel in the self-assessment process will also be awarded a brandmark to showcase their commitment to supporting carers on the communication and recruitment platform. 

“Just as workplaces have adapted to accommodate parents caring for children, it is crucial that we acknowledge the unique challenges faced by carers and provide them with the support needed to thrive in their careers,” said Rishworth.

This is a move welcomed by organisations like Carers Australia, a national peak body which advocates on the behalf of unpaid carers across Australia to influence policies and services.

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Encouraging all employers to sign up for Carer Inclusive Workplace Initiative, Jane Bacot-Kilpatrick, CEO of Carers Australia, said, “Unpaid carers frequently face barriers in the workplace. This initiative aims to directly address this, by giving organisations a framework to build a carer inclusive workplace.”

Organisations that undertake the initiative commitment will not only contribute to a more compassionate society but also gain a competitive edge by attracting a broader pool of talented employees, she added.