Workplace Cares

One in four employees (aged 45-65) cares for an aging friend or relative. Hundreds of others care for someone with a disability, chronic medical condition, or mental illness. These are long term caring responsibilities often lasting for several years.   Leaving work is not an option for most caregivers.

"I love my job – it is my happy place. I pack my time off with Mom’s appointments so that I don’t have to take as much time from work.  I found myself waiting for Christmas holidays to end, so that I could get back to work (my respite!).  Everyone around me thought I was crazy.  I know caregivers get it, though! 

It’s so difficult when my responsibilities with my Mom would encroach on my work.  I dropped down to 75% time, in order to have to take less time off for Mom... but I wish I could still work full-time."  ...A Manitoba Caregiver

Care Aware Workplaces have made the commitment to respect and support caregivers.  They strive to establish work environments and policies that enable caregivers to better balance work with caregiving responsibilities - a desirable outcome for both employees and employers.

“We can spot a Care Aware workplace right away because the program is so visible. We see supports in lunch room posters, in the employee newsletters and company emails.  When a program is visible we know the commitment is there.” Manitoba Caregiver Coalition 


Advantages of being a Care Aware Workplace:

In May 2012, the Conference Board of Canada estimated the cost to employers (missed work days, missed hours and employees quitting or losing a job) as a result of caregiving to be ...

1.3 Billion          Home and Community Care in Canada: An Economic Footprint . May 2012

 Care Aware workplaces benefit. 
Caregiver supportive policies lead to improved:

- Workplace productivity
- Workforce diversity
- Work attendance
- Staff engagement and commitment
- Staff retention
- Staff creativity and energy

 Your Care Aware Workplace

A Care Aware Workplace incorporates the following building blocks of successful workplace policies wherever feasible:

- Sympathetic and compassionate understanding of the individual caregivers' situation
- Increased awareness of caregiving issues among management
- A stated corporate policy for caregivers
- Standardized implementation across all departments
- Transparent and equitable application process

- Flexible work hours programs
- Condensed work week programs
- Reduced work hours
- Paid time off (PTO) banks
- Job sharing programs
- Telework
- Time off/leave of absence (if required)
- Phased return from work

- A free, confidential easy-to-access information source about existing workplace supports
- Fact sheets, checklists or guides to help with caregiving responsibilities and long term illness
- A free, confidential easy-to-access information source to locate regional and/or community caregiving 
- Counselling and advice to support care planning and management

- Support groups
- Professional help to deal with stress
- Health and education programs



     Sutton, W., & Krawczyk, M. (2012). Developing Supports for Employed Caregivers. Winnipeg.


*Developing Supports for Employed Caregivers was one of 14 national pilots presented in March at the Caregiver Toolkit Symposium in Toronto. This report is based on surveys conducted within Manitoba businesses.  For the full report go to: Caregiving and Work - The Balancing Act.

The careAware workplace initiative aims to recognize organizations and businesses that support the employees who provide care to friend or family member. If you would like more information or would like to become involved with the careAware initiative please contact the Manitoba Caregiver Coalition.