Article Text

Download PDFPDF

P-235 Our compassionate employers journey
  1. Caroline White
  1. St Michael’s Hospice Hastings and Rother, Hastings, UK


Background As part of our Organisational Development Strategy, we recognised that more needed to be done to support employees who were managing challenging lives outside of work, either because of additional care responsibilities or living with a life-limiting or terminal illness or bereavement. We saw this as a key element of developing a compassionate community from within the organisation. Embarking on the Hospice UK Compassionate Employer’s programme provided the support and information for this work to move forward.

What happened next?We were the first hospice to sign up to the Compassionate Employer’s programme. We collated evidence against a set of criteria and submitted our work to Hospice UK for assessment. We achieved Silver Award in November 2022. We have trained our managers to better support employees who are carers or have a life-limiting illness. We held a launch day to celebrate the award and to raise awareness across the organisation.

Our action plan We created an action plan, using the feedback from our assessment and are aiming for Gold status in 2023. We are setting up a Carers’ forum and using this to talk about what support people need to have a healthy work-life balance but also to provide helpful guidance and information as well as a place to share experiences. We are encouraging employees to let us know that they are informal carers and having this noted on their personnel record. We are developing a carers’ policy. We are reviewing other policies and procedures to make accessing support easier for employees, including updating our guidance following a bereavement.

What difference have we seen?Feedback from employees has been positive and employees are coming forward to let us know that they have additional responsibilities outside of work.

Managers have said they feel more confident in having conversations with employees about the support they might need following a bereavement.

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.