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Sainsbury’s joins forces with Carers UK to support staff who care

Carers UK and Sainsbury’s have joined forces on national Carers Rights Day 2011 to help support the UK’s 6.4 million people in the UK who care for ill or disabled people.

Sainsbury's has sponsored 50,000 copies of Carers UK's essential advice guides to support 700 local Carers Rights Day events going on across the UK. Sainsbury's is also distributing the new resource to its staff who are carers to ensure they get essential information on juggling work and care.

One in eight of the UK workforce combine work with caring for ill or disabled loved-ones. Without advice, information and support in the workplace, juggling work and care can lead to staff stress and absence, contributing to the one million people who have given up work or reduced working hours work to care .

As part of business forum Employers for Carers, run by Carers UK, Sainsbury's are working with other employers, including BT, PricewaterhouseCoopers and the Metropolitan Police, to lead the way in providing carer-friendly workplaces.

Jacki Connor, director of colleague engagement at Sainsbury's, said: "Sainsbury's is very proud of its support for Carers UK as we know this is an important issue for our colleagues and customers. One person in eight has caring responsibilities which means nearly 20,000 of our colleagues look after a friend or loved one.

"We are committed to ensuring that these colleagues get all of the support they need, be that through providing flexible working or giving them the ability to take time off at short notice. We hope other businesses follow our lead and take steps to ensure that carers are supported in the workplace."

Emily Holzhausen, director of policy at Carers UK, added: "Most of us will provide care at some point in our lives to ill or disabled loved ones. Yet when caring affects your family, it is often hard to get help and advice, and without support, caring can take a serious toll on carers' health, finances and wellbeing. It is crucial for workplaces to adapt to an increasing number of families juggling work and care, and that is why we are delighted to be working with Sainsbury's to support their colleagues with caring responsibilities."

Carers Rights Day is run by Carers UK each year to speak up for, inform and support the UK's 6.4 million carers. Carers Rights Day 2011, on 2nd of December is focussing on getting carers vital financial support with caring.