University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust has become the first organisation in England to receive the Carer Friendly Employer Commitment Mark from Forward Carers.

On average in the UK, 1 in 7 employees provide unpaid care for a friend or family member. With the average number of hours dedicated to a caring role growing, and pressures increasing, the need for organisations to recognise and implement practical workplace support has never been greater.

The Carer Friendly Employer Commitment Mark is a certification that is awarded to organisations that achieve or evidence how they are working towards a set of five Carer Friendly standards. These five Carer Friendly standards ensure that organisations are actively supporting Carers in the workplace.

With a workforce of over 22,000 people, University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust (UHB), which runs four hospitals across Birmingham and Solihull, recognises the need to support their employees who are also in a caring role.

As well as providing support to their employees, UHB actively raises awareness of the caring role in the workplace, empowers carers to access the support they offer and participates in the Forward Carers Carer Friendly Communities Programme.

Receiving the award on behalf of UHB, Mark Garrick, Director of Strategy and Quality Development, said: “To be the first employer in the country to be recognised as a carer friendly workplace is a great achievement.

“It’s important to us that we acknowledge those who undertake caring duties; to support them in managing that responsibility, and to ensure they get the most out of their work, here with us at the Trust.

“To receive this accreditation reaffirms our commitment, as we work towards being a more inclusive organisation.

“I’d like to thank all of my colleagues who have worked so hard to demonstrate the five standards. I hope we were able to set a strong benchmark for those who wish to apply in future.”

Chantell Marler, Programme Manager for Carer Friendly Communities said:

“We are thrilled to recognise University Hospitals Birmingham as England’s first Carer Friendly Employer Commitment Mark holder. The Trust offers a wide range of support to Carers across their workforce and has a clear commitment to supporting working Carers to successfully balance their work and care responsibilities. Not only does this make life better for carers, it also has clear benefits to the Trust too.”

Organisations aspiring to receive the certification complete an application outlining their policies and approaches to creating a Carer Friendly Workplace. Applications are then reviewed by Forward Carers and independently verified by a volunteer panel of Carers, to ensure the perspective of the carer is considered.

For more information about the Carer Friendly Employer Commitment Mark, and to apply to become a recognised Carer Friendly Employer, please visit: