Nationwide – Winner 2020, Best for Carers and Eldercare
Nationwide has a comprehensive support programme for carers, who are defined as anyone who supports someone who couldn’t cope without them.
Employees can self-identify as a carer by adding information to their HR personnel record. So far, 822 people (4.6% of employees) have done this. They automatically receive an email with information about helpful policies, Nationwide’s employee network for carers, and the Carer’s Passport scheme.
Carers can take up to 13 weeks unpaid leave to help them balance work with their caring responsibilities. The leave is taken in blocks of a week, normally up to a maximum of four weeks per year. In 2019, carers took a total of 982 days of paid carer’s leave, an average of 1.2 days per person.
On top of that they can use other types of leave available to all employees including five paid days a year family support leave, up to 20 paid days of compassionate or bereavement leave and a couple of paid days for emergency dependents leave, which allows employees to take leave at short notice for an unplanned situation.
In addition, only carers can buy three weeks of extra holiday each year – 73 carers bought more than two weeks of extra holiday in 2019.
There is also a short-break policy allowing carers to take up to six months off unpaid, before returning to their previous role.
Short-term and longer-term flexible working arrangements are available to help carers meet all their responsibilities.
Nationwide’s Working Carers’ Network has 522 employee members across the UK. It provides carers a safe space to talk about issues that affect how they balance work and caring responsibilities. These include regular tea and chat sessions, or more formal speaker events about relevant topics, such as the Power of Attorney.
In 2019, Nationwide started using the Carer’s Passport scheme, which helps carers explain their caring responsibilities and record any flexible working arrangements. It travels with them if they change teams or roles and encourages discussions between the employee and their manager about any specific needs they have.