Free online course focuses on creating caregiver-friendly workplaces

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A collaboration between McMaster Continuing Education and the School of Earth, Environment and Society in the Faculty of Science, the flexible course aims to equip employers and workers with practical strategies to support carer-employees.

McMaster Continuing Education is launching a free online course called “Creating Caregiver-Friendly Workplaces” to address the complex challenges arising for members of the workforce who face an increase in caregiving responsibilities at home.

Created in collaboration with Professor Allison Williams from the School of Earth, Environment & Society, the professional development course is about ten hours long.

It will be launched in April, building on the momentum of National Caregiver Day on Tuesday, April 2.

Statistics from 2018 show that one in four Canadians grapples with the challenge of combining their work commitments with caregiving responsibilities. The demands of juggling paid employment with unpaid caregiving duties are unique and complex, and often cause a range of negative health outcomes for carer-employees.

Analysis: Canadian organizations need to better support carer-employees in the workplace

This flexible online course aims to tackle this growing issue by equipping employers, employees and other stakeholders with practical strategies to support carer-employees effectively.

Doing so will not only retain carer-employees in the labour market, but better enable them to sustain good health.

The course aligns with the CSA B701:17 (R2021) Carer-Inclusive and Accommodating Organizations Standard and accompanying handbook CSA B701HB Helping worker-carers in your organization, which enables workplaces to not only do the best for their employees, but to keep up with industry best practices while also advancing equity, diversity and inclusion.

“As our ageing society demands more support, it becomes crucial for workplaces to adapt and support those balancing their paid work and unpaid caregiving responsibilities,” said Williams, a social scientist and health geographer.

“This course is a step towards creating a supportive culture and sharing strategies based on the Standard with organizations.”

Participants in the online course have the opportunity to earn a microcredential in fostering caregiver-friendly workplaces.

This credential can be used towards professional development job requirements, as well as displayed and shared on professional networking platforms such as LinkedIn.

The credential is also a tangible representation of their commitment to creating supportive work environments.

With demographic shifts and the challenges posed by an aging population, the need for caregiver-friendly workplaces has never been greater, said Lorraine Carter, director of McMaster Continuing Education.

“Through education, advocacy, and collaborative efforts, we are committed to creating environments that support the well-being and productivity of carer-employees across Canada.”

Click here for more information on the Creating Caregiver-Friendly Workplaces course. 

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