Employers are being encouraged to sign up to a new service offering bespoke information and support for employees who care for people with degenerative conditions.

HERE is a dedicated helpline and website set up by charity Guideposts and employee benefits providers PES for people living with conditions such as dementia, their carers and the professionals who look after them.

It offers in-depth, bespoke information and support on the medical, welfare and financial issues affecting carers and their families, as well as details of help in their local area.

An estimated 6.4 million people in the UK are responsible for caring for a loved-one who has a long-term and/or degenerative condition.

Many find themselves under considerable pressure; 80 per cent of carers say it has had an impact on their physical health while 84 per cent say it’s taken a toll on their mental health.

It is estimated one in seven employees in any workforce will be caring for someone who is ill, frail or has a disability. This could rise to as many as one in three by 2020.

All this can have a dramatic impact on business; the cost of an unsupported working carer can be as high £10,000 for an employer in lost time and lost productivity. One survey found 31 per cent of working age carers gave up work or reduced their working hours to care.

Now small and medium employers can offer the HERE service as an additional benefit to their employees to support them through challenging times.Offering the service could help businesses cut long-term absence, improve productivity and retention, boost employee morale and save money.

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