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Balancing work and caregiving obligations: new CHRC guide walks you through it

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SOURCE Canadian Human Rights Commission

OTTAWA, June 11, 2014 /CNW/ - The Canadian Human Rights Commission (CHRC) has released its Guide to Balancing Work and Caregiving Obligations: Collaborative Approaches for a Supportive and Well-performing Workplace.

The rights of family caregivers are an issue of increasing importance, as highlighted in the 2013 Speech from the Throne and more recently in two landmark court rulings. The CHRC's online guide offers employers and employees practical tips on what to do when an employee's family caregiving and work responsibilities come into conflict.

The guide was developed in consultation with key CHRC stakeholder groups and was launched at a national human rights conference in Ottawa this week. The CASHRA 2014 conference is hosted by the CHRC together with the Canadian Association of Statutory Human Rights Agencies (CASHRA), and with generous support from the Mental Health Commission of Canada and the Canadian Commission for UNESCO.

Quick Facts

  • At some point in their lives, nearly half (46%) of Canadians aged 15 and older have provided care to a family member or friend with a long-term health condition, a disability or aging needs. This is in addition to the caregiving provided to raise children.
  • Approximately one in ten caregivers provide more than 30 hours/week of caregiving.
  • Canada's courts recently reaffirmed in Johnstone v. Canada Border Services Agency and Seeley v. Canadian National Railway Company that providing care to a family member is protected under the ground of family status in the Canadian Human Rights Act.

Quotes

"More and more Canadian employees are trying to balance work with care for children, aging parents or other loved ones. This guide should help employees and employers approach this issue productively, ensuring that caregivers can continue to participate fully and meaningfully in the workforce."

- David Langtry, Acting Chief Commission of the Canadian Human Rights Commission

''Family caregivers can play an extremely important role in the recovery journey of those with mental illness, but they can face many challenges when balancing caregiving with workplace obligations. This Guide offers concrete guidance for managers to help employees meet these challenges. I congratulate the CHRC for advancing recommendations from the Mental Health Commission of Canada's family caregiver guidelines, Mental Health Strategy for Canada, and national workplace standard." 

- Louise Bradley, CEO, Mental Health Commission of Canada

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