The Importance of Flexible Working for Carers

With a new generation of employees now hitting the workforce, the traditional way of running businesses has changed.

One example is with working hours. Flexible working was introduced as a way to encourage a healthy work-life balance.

Over the last few years, the number of people working in part-time employment has increased. As well as those returning from starting a family and the effects of the gig economy, it’s also due to those struggling to maintain a healthy balance between their work and personal lives.

For those working in care, a flexible working arrangement may mean staff taking less time off for carers leave.

In this piece, we’ll define flexible working and the rules surrounding it. We’ll also explore the importance of this type of work for carers.

What is flexible working?

It’s a work pattern adapted to suit both you and your employees. There are different types of flexible working arrangements, examples include:

  • Changing to part-time hours.
  • Changing working days.
  • Changing full-time working hours.
  • Working your normal weekly hours in fewer days (compressed hours).
  • Working from home part or fulltime (homeworking).
  • Retain two people for the same position on a part-time basis (job sharing).
  • Work usually rotating but specified hours (shift working).
  • Using technological advances to work from remote locations (teleworking).
  • Calculating working hours based on annually instead of weekly (annualised hours).

Unlike the United Kingdom, there’s no legal right to flexible working. However, since the introduction of the Code of Practice on Access to Part-time Work in 2006, it’s now become a best practice for employers have policies on improving access to part-time work.

Employees can make requests for flexible working. As an employer, you should have a procedure in place that allows for a discussion between yourself and the employee before making a decision. Remember to consider:

  • The employee’s personal needs.
  • The staffing needs for the company.
  • The implications to the business and their co-workers.

To avoid claims of discrimination, you must consider all request for flexible working fairly and in accordance with the employment equality legislation.

The importance of flexible working for carers

Accommodating flexible working requests can be a challenge especially for those in the care sector.

The work itself is one that can do with allowances for flexible working. It involves rotating working hours, usually long travel times and unsociable hours.

However, from the point of view of the employer, it may be tricky, as you’ll need to ensure there’s sufficient staff to cover at all times.

And there are benefits for employers and employees.

For employers

  • Boost employee morale.
  • Reduce absenteeism.
  • Reduce employee turnover.
  • Improve wellbeing.
  • Enhance company image as a family-friendly employer.
  • Increase productivity.

For employees

  • Better work/life balance to meet personal and family needs.
  • Less stress.
  • Increased job satisfaction.
  • Reduced expenses and time spent commuting.
  • More control over working hours and environment.

Final note Remember, while it may be a challenge to create a flexible working policy, the rewards are well worth it. As well as easing your staff’s work/life balance, you can also reduce business costs, improve output and ensure the loyalty of your staff.

Vizier AAL Project

Vizier strives to improve the lives of the elderly by providing them with the tools to live longer independently. A commercially viable “open architecture” solution will be designed and developed to offer an intuitive and elderly friendly interface for utilising popular modern online services, as well as innovative and affordable Internet of Things (IoT) appliances already available on the market. The main goal is to encourage the elderly to improve the management of their daily lives, to stay physically, mentally and socially active and to ensure the elderly safety and wellbeing. Vizier proposes a hardware and software solution that includes a home system composed of, a range of sensors, smart (home) devices, a social companion and a set of applications to allow the elderly to access existing popular but difficult to use (online) technologies. Vizier will be built solely with the users in mind benefitting from the co-creation approach, which is a strong user-centric methodology where elderlies are involved in every step of the product development. The “open architecture” facilitates the development of an ecosystem and the possibilities for setting up partnership agreements that renders the product and services more commercially viable and scalable. Vizier will achieve a high commercialisation value, with the inclusion of existing proven technologies in combination with long-term research. With a strong involvement of commercial partners and leading research institutions, Vizier provides extensive expertise in both the technical and business & market fields, ensuring an optimal exploitation of the project’s results. (SOURCE: https://aalvizier.eu/)

 

Meet Samantha – Our eHealth Project Co-ordinator

As eHealth Coordinator it is my responsibility to expand eHealth & connected health projects within Myhomecare, and develop new projects to integrate eHealth applications and technology into the routine delivery of home care nationwide.

As eHealth Projects Coordinator, I engage with research organisations to ensure we are developing our ehealth projects in line with best-practice of the National HSE eHealth Strategy.

Responsibilities

  1. To expand Nursebuddy or similar service to clients within Myhomecare.
  2. To promote Myhomecare Connect through partnership development.
  3. To launch, manage and evaluate eHealth pilot projects and to produce recommendations for roll-out through the regional teams to expand the service.
  4. To provide eHealth management with assistance on emerging eHealth projects, including needs assessments, new proposals, policies and procedures, pilot projects, roll-out, and report writing.
  5. To demonstrate commitment to Myhomecare eHealth Vision.

Our latest project is the MyHomecare Connect app, which puts your loved one at the centre of their care. It is a individualised platform bringing clinical and social elements together to enable Client independence. Our App promotes effective communication and Safety reassurance through featured tiles such as;

  • My Health Record – Where in which health readings are stored. Health Readings are taken by the carer/Nurse in there shift and once they update this in their records it is available for the family immediately.
  • My Motion Activity- The motion activity Tile is an active live feed to know where in the home your loved one is.  The record all of the data comes from ambient devices in the home.
  • My Calendar- Online calendar of Appointments and Social events that is on locally to encourage socialisation.
  • My Fitness Plan- Tailored exercise routine videos to encourage activity and movement.
  • My Circle – Messenger Service for all involved with the client. When there is any change in app notifications highlight the new information.

All information is important when you are providing a supporting circle of care for your loved one. Simple examples, such as the arrival of a carer, knowing your loved one has been up and about through motion detectors or having access to medical readings when they are taking can limit your level of intervening therefore improving client independence.

To learn more about Myhomecare Connect or to speak with Samantha please call Samantha Myles on Freephone 1800 400 900 or email smyles@myhomecare.ie

Myhomecare Connect - Homecare from Anywhere

HSE preferred suppliers announced for Enhanced Homecare Services in Ireland

HSE preferred providers announced for the provision of Enhanced Homecare Services in Ireland

Allied Therapeutic Homecare is the only Irish, privately owned care provider appointed toHSE Ireland provide enhanced homecare services to all lots nationally. The group consists of a consortium of 4 Irish homecare providers who collectively synergise their skills, knowledge, staff and experience to provide a fully comprehensive, premium and client focused care service nationwide. Continue reading “HSE preferred suppliers announced for Enhanced Homecare Services in Ireland”