Creating caregiver-friendly workplaces


    Creating caregiver-friendly workplaces


A strategy for progressive employers

Canadian employers can implement effective caregiver inclusive and accommodating workplace practices to ensure their employees who are balancing work and care are supported and productive. Whether an employer wants to gain a competitive advantage or ensure compliance with local legal requirements, creating a carer-friendly workplace is a sound investment.

The new Carer-Inclusive and Accommodating Organizations Standard, developed by the Canadian Standards Association (CSA) Group with McMaster University, can be used by employers to meet legal requirements, enhance work-life balance for worker-carers, improve workforce retention and reduce healthcare costs.

Build your business case to support worker-carer employees

Is your human resource strategy addressing the unique risk-profile of your employees?

Check out the challenges, concerns and impact of balancing work and care.

Is your organization creating a healthy and productive work environment?

A business case for creating a human resource strategy that meets the profile of your organization’s employees.

Are you a forward-thinking health care employer?

4 easy steps to leverage your current HR practices to create a carer-inclusive culture

Understand the steps to becoming a more supportive employer

The Quick Reference Guide provides tips and tools for you to define organizational roles, develop policies and practices, engage senior leaders and employees, communicate, and more.


Get the new Carer-Inclusive and Accommodating Organizations Standard

The new standard can be used regardless of employer size or industry sector. For a time-limited period, the standard and corresponding implementation guide is available free of charge via the Canadian Standards Association (CSA) Group’s website.

About the Project

Carers Canada is leading the knowledge mobilization activities for a multi-sectorial research program to spread and scale a carer-friendly workplace standard, known as the Carer-Inclusive and Accommodating Organizations’ Standard (CSAB701-17). Led by Dr. Allison Williams, CIHR Research Chair in Gender, Work and Health at McMaster University, the research program consists of six inter-related sub-projects that will: increase awareness of the standard across Canada; evaluate readiness to change; determine feasibility and cost benefit; embrace cultural competency; consider Indigenous perspectives; and create an international standard.


A visual narrative portraying working caregivers and their employers

Carers Canada reached out to the leaders and employees of 10 Canadian organizations who provide home and community care across the country.   We posed two questions to their senior leadership teams and their and frontline staff who are balancing paid caring work and unpaid caring responsibilities.

“As a home care provider, how and why is your organization valuing and supporting your employees who are carers?”

“As you provide home care during your working hours and unpaid care during your personal time, how do you balance these two responsibilities?”

This book reflects our conversations: the unique challenges employee-carers face, the innovative solutions that home care organizations have implemented and the value they have received when supporting their employees. The poignant stories of dedicated carers and innovative leaders is stimulating awareness and facilitating dialogue on the ways and means to create caregiver-friendly workplaces that recognize and respect caregivers’ obligations.


Tips, tools and practical actions

When employers provide flexible workplace options that respect caregiver’s obligations, it reduces the challenges faced by more than 6.1 million employed Canadians who must balance their career with their unpaid caregiving responsibilities. To support their caregiving employees, employers can provide flexible working arrangements, personal leave, benefits and wellness strategies, such as counselling, to address their employees’ physical, emotional and psychosocial health needs.

Beyond Recognition — Caregiving & Human Rights in Canada: A Policy Brief

(March 2015). This brief provides an overview of caregiving as a human rights issue based on a review of academic and grey literature both within Canada and internationally, as well as interviews with leading caregiving experts in Quebec, Ontario, Alberta and British Columbia.

Caregivers in the Healthcare Workplace: Findings from a 2008-2011 Action Research Project

(2014). This paper documents the findings of an action research project conducted between 2008 and 2011, which addressed the issues facing healthcare employees who also provide care to family members at home. Undertaken at a local community healthcare centre in Montreal, the researchers engaged employees in multiple conversations to better understand their experiences, challenges and realities and to make recommendations to help these working caregivers juggle their multiple roles.

Skip to content