Govt to launch new initiative to promote carer-inclusive workplaces

New programme aims to support employment of 2.65 million careers in Australia

Govt to launch new initiative to promote carer-inclusive workplaces

The Federal government is set to launch a new initiative that aims to make workplaces more inclusive for employees with caring responsibilities.

The new Carer Inclusive Workplace Initiative will help employers develop and adopt practices to support carers, according to the government on Thursday.

Participating employers will be recognised through a government-endorsed carer inclusive workplace logo that can be displayed at their place of business and marketing materials.

Social Services Minister Amanda Rishworth said the new initiative will "reduce the barriers carers face in seeking and maintaining paid employment."

The government has partnered with Carers Australia for the initiative, providing $2 million over three years to 2024-25 to deliver the programme.

Jane Bacot-Kilpatrick, CEO of Carers Australia, said they are pleased to partner with the government on the initiative.

"Carers Australia is proud to work in partnership with the Australian government to help ensure carers have the same access to employment opportunities," Bacot-Kilpatrick said in a statement.

The initiative is one of the outcomes of the Jobs and Skills Summit, which heard about carers and the barriers they face in entering and retaining flexible work that accommodates their caring roles.

There are 2.65 million recognised carers, according to the Federal government. They are faced with employment challenges as 69% of those who provide unpaid care are less likely to be employed than those without caring responsibilities (75%).

Other initiatives from government

The Carer Inclusive Workplace Initiative is one of the three programmes announced by the government during the National Carers Week.

The government said it will also deliver on a National Carer Strategy, which aims to provide a framework for coordination of carer policy across Australia.

"The new National Carer Strategy complements the work the Government is already doing including today launching the Carer Inclusive Workplace Initiative," Rishworth said in a statement.

The strategy, which is an election commitment, will be developed in consultation with carers. The government said it is targeting to open the consultation process by the end of the year, with the delivery set by the end of 2024.

Meanwhile, the government announced it will also extend the Carer Gateway programme for another two years.

The programme offers carers free services and support that they need, from counselling and peer support groups, to respite care, home help, and equipment.

"We know carers don't always get the support they need, so extending Carer Gateway will assist with ensuring there's a service to help," Rishworth said.

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