We spoke to ECN Member Julie and her employers Provide about the positive impact of supporting family carers in the workplace.

Carer Friendly Employers –

Julie is a family carer and member of Essex Carers Network who has been working for Provide on the estates and facilities helpdesk for just under a year but has found them to already be a very inclusive employer. Having previously worked in insurance Julie commented that although they were flexible, she was made redundant and found it difficult to find another job to fit around her busy life as a family carer.

Temporary work with Provide enabled Julie to get back into the workforce and she began to enjoy her role, soon being asked to apply for a full-time position. She explained her caring role to Provide and was pleased that they were understanding, allowing her flexibility should an emergency arise and allowing her to work around her caring responsibilities. She also became one of Provide’s Learning Disability Champions, enabling her to raise awareness of the needs of people with a learning disability within the company and beyond.

We were pleased also to meet Provide’s Lisa Fullman, Grace Nicol and Adam Seamore. They explained to me that they felt Provide have a real ethos of caring for its employees as it does for the people who use its services. Julie felt that Provide understood the value and experience family carers can give to an organisation and embraced this within their practice. Adam talked about their website which highlights the good practice going on within the organisation around disabilities with videos and reports from the staff and residents. I have a voice home page – Learning Disabilities.

Julie finished by saying that she felt a relief from the worry of working as a family carer with Provide, and this has helped her and her family to increase their finances, she appreciates showing her family good work ethics and working gives her a sense of fulfilment.


Many thanks to Julie and Provide for their input into this short Blog. If you have a story you would like us to tell, please get in touch at info@essexcarersnetwork.co.uk.


Essex Carers Network – Carers Leave Rights – Going further for carers

As you may be aware, in April the government passed a new Act for Carers Leave Rights which enables unpaid carers who are in paid employment to take up to a week unpaid leave per year to carry out planned caring duties without affecting their employment rights.

Hospital appointments and meetings, for example, can be attended without losing holiday entitlement, when sufficient notice and authorisation is given by an employer. For more information about the new entitlement follow the links below.

Unpaid carer’s leave – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

The Carer’s Leave Act 2023 | Carers UK

The Management team at Essex Carers Network considered the Carers Unpaid Leave Act and decided to lead by example to offer this as a paid entitlement should its employees need to support their loved one for planned appointments or foreseen caring needs.

As staff we appreciate this gesture and feel a true commitment from an already supportive Management Team.

Does your employer know about your caring role? Does your employer acknowledge Carers Leave Rights, reasonable adjustments or other carers rights? Do they support you as a carer and offer anything to show this? We would like to hear from our members to enable us to show good models of carer recognition and further this debate.

Paula Strike – Lead Coordinator, Essex Carers Network