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Thames Water achieves 'Carer Confident' workplace status

Tuesday 8th December 2020 11:02

A red and yellow logo saying carer confident active

Thames Water has been recognised as a ‘Carer Confident’ workplace by a leading charity.  

The water company received the accreditation from Carers UK for its work before and during the coronavirus lockdown to build a supportive and inclusive workplace for staff who are or may become carers.

In April 2020, Thames Water improved its family-friendly policies, including time off for looking after dependents, to enhance the support provided to working families and carers. The company also has a thriving Carers and Parents network.  

Tess Fayers, Thames Water’s head of operational service centre and sponsor of the company’s Carers and Parents Network, said: “Now, more than ever, there is a need for every organisation to play its part in supporting colleagues who are combining the role of a carer with their careers. As a working mum, I know what it’s like to juggle work and parenting and I’m proud to work for an organisation that is taking positive steps to put in place the right support for caregivers. 

“Part of that support is our Carers and Parents network; a group designed to help colleagues navigate through these challenging times and provide resources to ensure that each of us is able to bring our best to our roles, both at home and at work.”

Carers UK, runs Employers for Carers, an employers’ membership forum that help to ensure companies have the support to retain and manage employees with caring responsibilities.

Its Carer Confident benchmarking scheme assists employers in making the most of the talents these employees can bring to the workplace. 

Research by the charity shows one in seven people juggle work with caring for someone who is older, ill or with a disability. Without the right support, one in six carers give up work or reduce working hours to care. 

Sarah Gosiewska, Thames Water’s culture, inclusion and engagement lead, added: “We can serve customers, support colleagues and work better together if we have a diverse and inclusive workforce. Many of our employees who are carers will be skilled and experienced staff who are at the peak of their careers. It’s important we have the right assistance available for them so they can balance their responsibilities and feel empowered and supported in their work.”

Thames Water’s commitment to building a diverse workforce means it has signed the Race At Work Charter, was the first water company to be awarded Disability Confident Leader status and is a Stonewall Diversity Champion.

Thames Water is also is also an Armed Forces Covenant Silver Award holder and a member of Women in Science and Engineering, and Women in Utilities, which encourages more women into frontline roles.