In Australia there are over 2.65 million carers across Australia according to Carers Australia. Carers are people who provide unpaid care and support to family members and friends who have a disability, mental illness, chronic condition, terminal illness, an alcohol or other drug issue or older people who need support. One of the greatest challenges for working carers is trying to balance employment with caregiving responsibilities. Employers can play a key role in supporting their employees who are also carers.
A new Standards Australia Draft Standard on Ageing Societies specifies requirements and provides guidelines for an organizational program for working carers. There are significant benefits to carer-inclusive policies and programs in an organisation including helping to retain skilled staff, improve worker morale and productivity; and reduce disability costs and mental health claims.
The Draft AS ISO 25551.2023 Ageing societies – General requirements and guidelines for carer-inclusive organizations was prepared by the Standards Australia Committee MB-027 Ageing societies and is an adoption of an ISO standard. The document can be used in conjunction with an organization’s management systems, human resource programs, and/or equity, diversity and inclusion programs, or on its own in the absence of a formal workplace program to support working carers.
Standards Australia encourages views and input from a wide cross section of the public on a draft publication during the Public Comment stage. Create a free account when you login to Standards Australia Connect and browse Draft AS ISO 25551.2023 Aging societies – General requirements and guidelines for carer-inclusive organizations in Drafts open for public comment closing on19 December 2023. Read more in the Standards Australia Public Comment Guide.
The Consumers’ Federation of Australia (CFA) engages with these issues by supporting a representative to the committee which developed the standard. The CFA representative ensures the impact on consumers is always a central part of committee considerations. The CFA Standards Project ensures the consumer voice is heard in the standards development process giving the Australian consumer greater confidence in the products, services and systems they use. Find out how to get involved and make a difference here.