Equal Lives with Centrica: Paid Carers’ Leave, with a signature policy of a month’s carers leave

Centrica is one of the few large organisations with a signature policy of a month’s carers leave, where annual leave will be matched by the company to support time out to care, and strong senior leadership backing.  

With an ageing UK population and rising retirement ages, more people will need to both work and care for longer than ever before. As a responsible employer, Centrica recognise that it’s crucial to do all they can to adapt to these changing demographics. Centrica’s Carers’ Leave Policy allows individuals to match their annual leave entitlement with Paid Carers’ Leave of up to 30 days. They allow individuals the right to request flexible working from day one, which they think is an important provision for carers to be able to balance work with caring responsibilities.

Centrica is fully committed to supporting their colleagues with caring responsibilities. Their aim is to help their employees both meet their caring commitments, and maintain an active career. They do this by allowing employees to manage their annual leave, work and care responsibilities in a way that works for them.

On average, Centrica employees with caring responsibilities take just over three days of ‘paid, matched carers leave’ each year therefore we estimate the planned cost of carers leave to be £615,400.

Centrica also has a 1,000 strong Carers Employee Network, which can demonstrate tangible outcomes on engagement and productivity for the people it supports. The Carers Employee Network signposts carers to support, and puts carers in touch with other individuals with similar caring circumstances to share their stories and support one another. The network itself is a source of support for people, some of whom may have a short-term care crisis, others of whom spend years balancing work with heavy duty care for someone they love.  

Centrica recognises that support is so important, they know carers can quite easily forget to care for themselves, therefore outside of network activity and policy, they encourage their employees to utilise wider support services such as our regional Mental Health First Aiders, in which there are 200 globally. Our #KeepTalking campaign was implemented to promote conversations and increase the comfortability around mental and physical disabilities within the workplace.

“There is a clear business case for ensuring that our people can juggle work and care – and do so in a way that works for them. Our over-arching commitment is to enable all employees to bring their whole-selves to work irrespective of background or circumstance. We continue to capture rich data via our annual count me in campaign, to enable further improvements to our policies, practices and support services. We want all employees to feel supported, attain their full potential and ultimately in doing so heighten business performance,” says Simi Dubb – Consumer Capability Director and Global Head of Diversity & Inclusion.