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Carer's week infographic 2019

Carers' Week

23 May 2018

Carers week is an annual awareness campaign to celebrate and recognise the contributions made by UK's 6.5 million carers. This year Carers' week will be held 10-16 June 2019.

UCU is raising awareness of the issues, the impact unpaid and at times complex caring has on our members who are providing vital support to an elderly parent (home and abroad), family relative, disabled child or friend whilst working against the backdrop of high workloads, job insecurity and an attack on pay and pensions.

Infographic on carers in the UK [672kb]

Ideas for branches to raise awareness could include:

1.  Branch meeting

Hold a branch committee meeting to discuss and plan how you are to support members (advice and or representation) in issues they raise as an un-paid carer and the impact on their work-life balance - invite other campus union reps.  Agenda items could include:

  • inviting a carer to talk to the branch about the impact and issues they face in trying to juggle work and caring responsibilities
  • reviewing or drafting a policy for carers and flexible working
  • requesting that all staff receive awareness training on the impact and issues facing unpaid carers 
  • discussing and establishing a carers' network - see below

2. Establish a carers' network/group

Establishing a carers' network or group supports individuals who are also carers, help to make a difference and raise awareness of caring needs. The benefits of such a network would:

  1. provide a space for UCU members who have a shared experience of being a carer, addressing the issues and impact such as working in isolation
  2. provide support and signposting for carers to receive further assistance in balancing caring and work responsibilities
  3. help to raise issues with line managers in balancing work / caring responsibilities
  4. input into local branch activity, for example contributing toward ensuring that policies such as a carers' or flexible working policies sets out the different types of assistance required for carers to manage their work and caring responsibilities.
  5. plan awareness days/events through displaying a poster or coffee morning

3. Share good practice

If your branch has negotiated policies for carers and on flexible working, please send a copy to

4. Host a coffee morning

Help to raise awareness during Carers' Week by hosting a coffee morning to engage and support colleagues who feel isolated and alone.  Use the event to establish and promote a network.

UCU resources

'Caring for carers: a UCU guide for members and reps', gives an overview of the issues facing working carers, their rights and how branches can offer support to members who may have difficulty in managing their caring responsibilities with work responsibilities.

Caring for Carers guide [943kb]  Caring for carers [945kb]

Last updated: 4 June 2019