Jack Brereton, MP for Stoke-on-Trent South, and other MPs from the Work and Pensions Select Committee, today visited the Bridge Centre in Birches Head to speak to carers from the city. The committee is currently looking at how the support given to people with caring responsibilities can be improved, particularly to help give carers who are working more flexibility to stay in work.
The MPs sought the opinions and experiences of those who care for ill or elderly relatives whilst still working, to discover what improvements can be made to these carers’ situations. Several local employers, such as the Donna Louise Trust, Emma Bridgewater, and several NHS trusts, have recently engaged with a Government pilot being run in Stoke-On-Trent to support carers more effectively. This is one of nine pilots that have been run nationally.
The Committee will use evidence gathered from today’s session in the report it produces later in the year that will put recommendations to Government.
“I was glad that the Government made Stoke-on-Trent part of its pilot ‘Carers in Employment’ project, and I am pleased that I was able to bring the committee to Stoke-on-Trent to meet with local carers. This has been an extremely useful session to help inform the committee’s work looking into the support available for careers.
“The carers I met spoke of just how difficult everyday life can be when trying to look after a relative with complex needs, and hold down a job at the same time. There is help out there, but more needs to be done in encouraging employers to offer support to employees who are carers, such as offering flexible working hours.”