Centrica awarded for carer support


Centrica and Unilever were among the winners of Business in the Community’s 2015 Responsible Business Gala Awards.

Unilever picked up the Bupa Employee Wellbeing Award in recognition of its approach to mental health and the support it provides to its staff. The organisation has established a comprehensive mental wellbeing programme, which provides training for all line managers and access to bespoke resources. Senior managers also share their personal experiences with mental health issues.

The implementation of its mental wellbeing programme has helped Unilever to increase productivity and reduce absence rates.

Centrica was named winner of the Championing an Ageing Workforce Award. The energy firm estimates that 60% of its 36,000 employees will be carers at some point in their working lives.

Centrica offers employees support to enable them to combine caring responsibilities with their working lives. This includes the option to take up to a month’s paid leave, altered working hours and a 1,000-strong carers’ support network. Other initiatives include mentoring and line manager training.

The support systems put in place by Centrica have enabled it to save £4.5 million in absenteeism and retention costs.

Other winners included AllLife, Barclays, Fujitsu, and Land Securities Group.

Stephen Howard, chief executive of Business in the Community, said: “From the largest global multinational to the smallest local firm, these inspirational winners prove that every business can, and should, play its part to build a fairer society for us all.

“I congratulate them all, for the practical action they have taken to address some of the world’s most pressing issues, and for proving that making a difference and being a successful business are not mutually exclusive.”