TORONTO, Ontario - June 23, 2014 /Canada NewsWire/ - The Honourable Alice Wong, Minister of State (Seniors), announced the launch of the Canadian Employers for Caregivers Plan (CECP) at the first meeting of its newly-established Employer Panel for Caregivers.
In Economic Action Plan 2014, the Government of Canada committed to work with employers on finding cost-effective workplace practices to help informal caregivers participate as fully as possible in the labour market. The Canadian Employers for Caregivers Plan includes the establishment of the Employer Panel for Caregivers, the development of business cases analyzing the cost-benefit of existing various workplace supports and the exploration of mechanisms for sustained employer engagement in this area.
"There are currently 6.1 million employed Canadians who are providing care to a family member or friend. Our government will work with employers through the Canadian Employers for Caregivers Plan to help identify cost-effective solutions to support employed caregivers, helping them achieve a better balance of work and caring responsibilities." - The Honourable Alice Wong, Minister of State (Seniors)
Many employed Canadians also provide informal care to their aging parent, friend, or spouse. Yet, the demands of caregiving can create many challenges in the workplace such as conflicting working hours and flexibility required for emergencies.
"Our government's top priorities are creating jobs, economic growth and long-term prosperity. That's why this initiative builds on existing federal measures that include a range of tax credits for caregivers, the Employment Insurance Compassionate Care Benefit and other federal benefits." - The Honourable Alice Wong, Minister of State (Seniors)
The Employer Panel for Caregivers is comprised of industry leaders from small, medium and large-sized businesses, as well as expert advisors on caregiving. They will consult with employers across Canada to help identify successful and promising workplace practices that support caregivers who are balancing their work responsibilities with caring for a loved one ensuring a stronger workforce and more prosperous economy.
- The Panel is chaired by Kim Forgues (Home Depot Canada), and includes Panel members:
- Lucie Chagnon (Median Solutions)
- Rachelle Gagnon (Assumption Life Insurance)
- Sharene Herdman (Johnson & Johnson Inc. Canada)
- Caterina Sanders (Habanero Consulting Group)
- Stephen Shea (Ernst and Young LLP)
- Expert advisors to the Panel are:
- Vickie Cammack (Founder, Tyze Personal Networks)
- Janice Keefe (Nova Scotia Centre on Aging, Mount Saint Vincent University).
- Caregiving refers to unpaid care provided to a family member or friend due to chronic or long-term illness, disability or aging and does not include short-term care for minor illnesses such as colds or flu, or everyday caring for children, etc.
"Having cared for a loved one, I know first-hand how overwhelming it can be to balance the needs of work and family. As Chair of the Employer Panel for Caregivers, I'm looking forward to reporting back to the Government on workplace supports that could help reduce the stress on informal caregivers." - Kim Forgues, Chair of Employer Panel for Caregivers
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