Public Health Report issues prescription for a healthy local economy

Thursday, February 27, 2020

The Wakefield Public Health Report 2019 has revealed that nearly one in seven people in the work place are carers whose unpaid work saves the local economy more than £700 million in care costs annually.

However, some are under strain and if left unattended by bosses, it could impact negatively on a company’s bottom line.

According to the just-released Public Health Report for 2019, it costs a staggering £5 billion across the entire country when carers have to drop out of work due to the pressure of managing both responsibilities.

The report offers a hopeful prognosis, prescribes a course of action, provides resources and encourages employers to fill that prescription as soon as possible to avoid an impact on their businesses by helping carers in the workplace.

The report sets out ten recommendations on how employers can support them.

If implemented, the report states that becoming a carer-friendly business would lead to increased productivity, improved staff morale, fewer incidents/accidents, reduction in sick leave, increased retention of valued staff and a reduction in recruitment and training costs.

Cllr Faith Heptinstall, Cabinet Member for Adults and Health, said:

To support employers, large and small, we are providing advice and resources to guide them through the process. Supporting working carers brings a three-fold benefit – for the carer, the business and the local economy. It is a win-win approach.

Director of Public Health, Anna Hartley, said:

One of the key outcomes that we are aiming for in Wakefield is for people to have a good life and this is particularly important for unpaid carers. They are the people juggling looking after their loved ones whilst holding down a job. It could be the colleague sitting beside you, your manager or someone you eat lunch with every day. In fact, one in seven people in work, is a carer. With an ageing population and the rising cost of private care many of us will become unpaid carers at some point in our lives so it makes sense for us all to make changes now to respond to the changing shape of society and that is why I am calling on Wakefield businesses to create a working-carer-friendly environment.

The number of in-work carers is estimated to be about 25,000 in Wakefield.

A portal, laden with resources, facts, stats, contacts, a copy of the Public Health Report and an illuminating video on the subject are available on the Council’s health care advice pagewww.wakefield.gov.uk/takingcare

The report will be laid at Cabinet on 14th January 2020.