Supporting colleagues with caring responsibilities

To mark National Carers Week, we have launched a new guide for colleagues across our stores and Support Centres to help support colleagues with caring responsibilities.

The new guide covers all the support we offer to colleagues from health, wellbeing and financial support to flexible work options such as Worklife - which was introduced in 2022. The guide also covers our new and updated bereavement policy, which offers more flexibility for colleagues who may wish to take all of some of their paid leave before the death of a loved one or someone they care for when they're receiving end of life care. The guide now brings everything together in one place to make it easier to access the support required, when colleagues need it. 

Store Manager at M&S Simply Food, Sunbury Cross and co-chair of the Family & Carers Network at M&S, Adele Thorpe, helped produce the guide for colleagues. Having been a carer from a young age to her uncle Gary, who has autism and ADHD, as well as her Nan who had dementia, she wanted to share her experiences of juggling her work and personal responsibilities at home. 

Adele said: “At M&S we have so many colleagues who are carers - and this will look and feel different for everyone. Balancing things can be hard, you often feel guilty that you can’t give 100% of your time to those you care for whilst also doing a great job for the company you love. We want to ensure M&S is a great place to work and reassure our colleagues that it’s ok to take five minutes for yourself to sort out things – to ensure you can be your best at work.” 

Earlier this year, we became a member of the Employers for Carers (EFC) forum, supported by Carers UK. With 5.7 million carers across the UK, we want to ensure that our colleagues with caring responsibilities feel seen and supported. As part of this, from this month, every M&S colleague will have 24-hour access to support via the Carers UK Jointly App - providing help and advice, as well as an opportunity to create a ‘circle of care’ for the person they’re caring for – designed to make organising planning caring responsibilities easier not only for them, but for friends and family too. 

Learn more about our commitment to inclusion & diversity here

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