In action

Learning from organisations already operating Carer Passport schemes

The work of Employers for Carers highlights a number of models already in place within workplaces or currently being established. 

One of the earliest models of a Carer Passport was developed by The Charity for Civil Servants to support all Civil Service employees in the workplace. The Charity has worked with many government departments to introduce it to senior and middle managers and since 2010 it has benefited thousands of employees. 

A survey by the Charity in 2013 reported major improvements in wellbeing following the issue of a Carer Passport, such as reduced stress levels. In a follow-up survey in May 2017 of 848 people taking up a Carer Passport, of the 167 who responded to the survey, 65% reported quite or very high stress levels before receipt of the Passport, reducing to 24% after receipt.

Another early model was developed by BT, whose Carer Passport can be completed by any BT employee who has caring responsibilities which they believe could have an impact on their ability to work currently or in the future. It is supported by a factsheet produced by the Communication Workers Union.

Business in the Community (BITC) in Northern Ireland developed a model Carer Passport which has been used by a number of different employers.  

The Department for Transport (DfT) offers the Charity for Civil Servants’ Carer Passport to its employees, reporting that staff turnover has been reduced from 11.1% to 9.3% due to the retention of older workers. The Passport allows employees to leave their workplace to carry out urgent caring responsibilities without the need to take annual leave and sick days. The Department reports that its policies around carers have significantly improved unplanned absenteeism. 

Manchester City Council offers a Carers Passport, which is available for employees to download at any time from the intranet and can be completed as part of a regular one-to-one session or as a separate meeting.

Examples of Carer Passport schemes can also be found in several sectors, for example in national and local government, NHS Trusts and other health service providers, the police force, the voluntary sector, carers associations, and in the private sector. The Financial Ombudsman Service and Age UK are further examples of organisations which are developing policy and practice in this area.

These existing models are often presented as largely a communication tool, enabling an informal conversation between employee and employer. They may bring caring onto a manager’s radar for the first time.