Phoenix Group – Winner, 2023, Best for Carers and Eldercare
Phoenix Group are flying the flag for working carers. Not only do they facilitate the breathing space to look after loved ones alongside a fulfilling career, but they champion older workers and strive for better conditions for carers, for which their research has earned them high praise.
The Carers Leave Policy has a wide definition that enables carers to self-identify so they can fulfil their responsibilities to care for anyone who is disabled, ill or cannot cope without their support. Carers are entitled to 10 days paid and 5 days unpaid leave, in addition to emergency and compassionate leave to manage unexpected care arrangements. Flexible working is available through informal hybrid working or a formal arrangement, and they have committed to making flexible working clear and easy to implement by joining the ABI charter. Older workers, more likely to be impacted by eldercare, are actively recruited through initiatives such as partnerships with the 50+ recruitment site Restless, which has led to the Phoenix Group being the highest scoring company for age diversity in a recent DEI audit.
Support for carers
Phoenix Group recognise the power of peer support and so a dedicated Carers Network runs meetings for carers to share experience and get advice. Regular emails provide news and information, and specially trained Carers Champions are available for confidential, one-to-one support. Key, relevant legal documents are available, and resources providing wellbeing support, including financial wellness, are available to employees via an online portal. An Employee Assistance Programme offers counselling and practical advice such as claiming benefits and organising respite care. Managers can access a dedicated advice hub on how best to support their teams and themselves.
Phoenix Group make a point of championing support for carers, including the Carer’s Network sponsor marking Carer’s Rights Day on social media, and speaking to the media to promote the importance of carers leave. Their internal research on the Gender Pension Gap has found caring responsibilities disproportionately affect a woman’s earnings, and they are running a pilot to empower women to take better control of their financial futures by engaging them with the financial impacts of caring. They have used their research to put pressure on government for further rights with regards to carers leave and flexible working. They have also worked with Carers UK to support the Private Members Bill for Carers Leave as it progresses through parliament. Such proactive activities have led to being cited in the House as an exemplar employer for carers and recognised by Employers for Carers as a Carer Confident Accomplished Employer.
The unwavering support of carers has led to a ten-point increase in the employee Net Promotor Score since 2021, as well as an increase in the number of colleagues identifying as carers, double that of those who identified as carers in the 2021 UK census.