The Carer Friendly Employer Award was presented to Council Chief Executive Tony Parkinson by Carers Together Chief Executive Julia Bracknall and Chair of Middlesbrough Carers Partnership Julie Bailey in a ceremony in Middlesbrough Town Hall.
Mr Parkinson said: “I am really happy to receive this award and we will put it somewhere really prominent. If we want to be a good, caring employer then it is only right we do all we can to support our employees.
“In my time as Chief Executive I have really pushed our values, not for the sake of it but because they are important to creating the environment we all want to work and succeed in. I believe strongly that time invested in developing work policies that help create a healthy work life balance is paid back many times over through the commitment that it creates within our workforce.”
Middlesbrough Council pledged their commitment in 2017 to making improvements in their policies and procedures for employees who have a caring role and asked Carers Together to act as a ‘critical friend’ to help them become more ‘carer friendly’.
As a result, changes were made to the Leave Policy and Procedures in October 2017 which recognised modern family arrangements and the need to support employees in caring roles, particularly those who may have responsibility for caring for children or young adults at the same time as looking after elderly relatives.
Carers Together Chief Executive Julia Bracknall said: “What Middlesbrough Council has been doing is making changes to support workers in their own workforce. In a very short space of time all of these things will make a practical difference.
“About two million people give up work across the UK each year to become carers and as a result struggle financially. We want to make sure that those who want to continue working can do so.
“It’s a win-win as the Council wants to keep good staff and the carer wants to stay in a good job.”