Marks and Spencer introduces caring guide for employees

Marks and Spencer caring
Credit: patat /

Retailer Marks and Spencer has introduced a guide for its store and support centre employees to help support those with caring responsibilities.

Implemented to mark National Carers Week (10-16 June), the guide details all the related support that the retailer offers, such as health, wellness and financial support, flexible work options such as its Work Life initiative, and its bereavement policy. This offers flexibility for employees who want to take all, or some, of their paid leave before the death of a loved one or dependant receiving end-of-life care.

The aim of the guide is to bring the support together in one place, so it is easier for employees to access it when needed. Marks and Spencer also wanted to ensure that its staff with caring responsibilities feel seen and supported.

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Adele Thorpe, store manager at Marks and Spencer Simply Food, Sunbury Cross and co-chair of the retailer’s Family and Carers Network, helped to produce the guide. She said: “At Marks and Spencer, we have so many employees who are carers, and this will look and feel different for everyone. Balancing things can be hard, carers can often feel guilty that they can’t give 100% of their time to those they care for while also doing a great job for the organisation. We want to ensure Marks and Spencer is a great place to work, and reassure our staff that it’s okay to take five minutes to sort out things to ensure they can be their best at work.”

Earlier this year, Marks and Spencer became a member of the Employers for Carers forum, supported by Carers UK. From this month, every employee will have 24-hour access to support via the Carers UK Jointly App, which provides help and advice, as well as an opportunity to create a ‘circle of care’ for the person they care for. The app was designed to make organising planning caring responsibilities easier for staff, their friends and family.