Unpaid carers have revealed the difficulty of balancing looking after unwell or disabled loved-ones with their full-time job at the county council due to a lack of support.
One employee at Bucks County Council (BCC), who cares for their father, said their manager is “very understanding” however some colleagues “are not as fortunate”.
BCC has published a draft report following an in-depth review of the support provided to carers across the county, which will be discussed by members of the health and adult social care select committee next week.
One employee said they are “very close to tears” most days due to the stress of balancing caring responsibilities with “ridiculously short deadlines and other work issues”.
The comment published in BCC’s report stated: “I am already working long hours to deliver the day job and then not always successfully.
“Ridiculously short deadlines for work, despite the extraordinary amount of governance in place, ambiguity and other work-related issues mean that I am often feeling stressed, fearful and very close to tears most days. And time off for myself seems a long way off.”
Another employee at BCC revealed how they were “terrified” and had “no other support” when they suddenly became a carer for their father.
They said: “I looked around for help and I found very little. What I needed at the time was someone to talk to who was in the same situation as me, and advice about what support was available for carers.
“My father passed away recently but I am now caring for my mother. I am lucky. I have an understanding manager who enables me to balance my work and my caring role.
“But I know other colleagues who aren’t as fortunate as me. I was, and am still, in a constant state of anxiety about the future.
“I want to continue to work for BCC and hold on to some semblance of a life but am not sure whether that will be possible if things at home deteriorate.”
Another carer called for BCC to show “more commitment” to supporting its employees who care for their loved-ones.
The council admitted it does not know how many of its employees are carers, however plans will be put in place to identify and support carers in the work force.
A list of recommendations outlining how BCC should improve support provided to carers across the county has been published and will be discussed at the select committee on Tuesday, January 29.