Last updated: 18.12.12

Santander uses online training to help employees

Santander UK is using e-learning as part of a new scheme designed to help its employees with caring responsibilities outside of the workplace.

The bank is launching an online portal that provides these workers with practical advice, online training programmes and various consultancy services.

According to statistics from advisory organisation Employers for Carers (EfC), an estimated one in seven people in the entire UK workforce are required to look after an older, disabled or ill family member or friend.

Santander has decided to roll out the support following a survey of its own staff, where it was discovered that the company has a similar proportion of carers across its 25,000 employees.

Rachel Fayers, diversity and engagement manager at the financial institution, said that often looking after children or vulnerable relatives is not something individuals plan for and this situation can happen to anyone, at any time.

She remarked: "As an inclusive employer, we want to make sure that we provide appropriate support to our employees to help them find ways to balance their work and caring responsibilities."

Via the online learning resource, Santander workers will be able to receive support through the organisation's membership of EfC.

The latter - which has longstanding experience in working with the UK government and employers on developing and implementing good organisational practices - offers advice to companies that are seeking to roll out carer-friendly policies.

In the past, it has assisted major firms such as BT, Centrica, the NHS and the Metropolitan Police with supporting carers who wish to remain in or return to work.

Santander is also addressing the importance of providing these employees with a flexible working pattern and it is giving all of its workers the right to adapt their hours.

"We also want to be able to give our employees access to expert help and advice. We believe our membership with EfC will help us do this," Ms Fayers concluded.