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District achieves carer-friendly Australian first

District's support for carers in the workplace recognised.

Woman with a mask on standing on balcony
SydneyConnect Image: Kim Brauer

Sydney Local Health District’s support for carers in the workplace has been recognised, with the District becoming the first employer in Australia to achieve level two accreditation as a carer-friendly organisation.

The District reached the accreditation milestone this month after demonstrating it has progressive and embedded practices in place to support staff carers, under the Carers + Employers Program run by Carers NSW.

The Carers + Employers Program is the first initiative in Australia to formally accredit carer-friendly employers.

It’s estimated about 12 per cent of the District’s 14,000 member workforce balance their roles at work with carer responsibilities at home.

A carer is anyone who provides informal support or care to a family member or friend with a disability, mental illness, drug and/or alcohol dependency, chronic condition or is frail and aged.

Kim Brauer, the Manager of the District’s Carers Program, said gaining the accreditation is an acknowledgement of the District’s work to build on workplace rights for staff carers.

“The Carers + Employers Program defines best practice standards for organisations like ours who want to support staff carers. Most importantly, it’s a way to raise the profile of our staff carers who provide excellent care - to patients and their loved ones,” Ms Brauer said.

The District has flexible working arrangements for staff, uses surveys to understand staff carers’ responsibilities and has a Staff Carer Support Service.

The District’s Chief Executive, Dr Teresa Anderson said the District is committed to supporting staff, and helping them balance work and commitments outside of work.

“Our Flexible Working Guidelines provide a framework for discussions about reasonable adjustments to allow staff to find balance across their commitments.

“I’m so proud of our staff who have found ways of working that can meet everyone’s needs - whether staff member, patient or loved ones,” Dr Anderson said.

Carers NSW Chief Executive Officer, Elena Katrakis, thanked the District for its commitment to supporting carers in the workplace.

“To become the first employer to gain Level Two accreditation is a tremendous achievement. We look forward to continuing to work together with Sydney Local Health District on achieving positive outcomes for carers in the workplace,” she said.

For more information about the Sydney Local Health District Carers Program, visit www.slhd.nsw.gov.au/carers