Support for employers

Caring, Working, Living aims to help increase employers’ understanding of the value of Returners in the workforce and how to attract, support and retain them.

This will increase employers’ ability to recruit and retain candidates in roles that were previously hard to fill, and improve productivity.

On this page:

Support we can offer

Caring, Working, Living toolkit

Flexible job boards report

Caring, Working, Living panel

Other useful resources

Contact details

Support we can offer: 

Through our work with GM Chamber of Commerce (GMCC), we are able to offer employers a range of different support including: 

  • Support to revise recruitment practices to make them more accessible to Returners. This can include supporting employers to consider the language used in job adverts; job descriptions and person specifications that could deter Returners from applying (find out more about Breaking Down Barriers).

  • Support to understand the range of flexible working arrangements that can help employees that are balancing work and care to stay in work, and feel valued by their employers.

  • Access to good practice from employers through blogs and case studies published on our website, and social media. Opportunities to take part in quarterly Industry Panels, bringing together employers and Returners to work collectively to understand and address the issues involved.

  • Links to employment support agencies across the region that work with Returners. These include VCSE and public sector groups, including schools. 

"The Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce is proud to be working on [this project] with GMCVO, working with employers who will benefit from having returners within their staff. Employers will have access to an untapped workforce that have skills that can benefit the workplace, meaning they may now be able to fill job roles that have been vacant for a period of time."  


Caring, Working, Living toolkit:

Drawing on the learning from this project, we are developing a three part, simple toolkit of bite sized guides about how to recruit and retain employees requiring flexible working arrangements. Employers and Returners are involved in the development of each section of the toolkit through their input at the Caring, Working, Living Panel and the Breaking Down Barriers workshops.

Each part of the toolkit will be published separately throughout the course of the project. We would like to hear if you are planning to make a change to your practice regarding flexible working and, if so, how this toolkit has influenced this change. 

Part One: What is Flexible Working

Flexible Working Visual

Guide to Flexible Working

Getting Ready For Flexible Working Checklist

Reviewing Your Flexible Working Checklist

Part Two: How to Ensure Interview Practices Support Returners

Interview Best Practice Checklist

Interviewer Prompt Card: Unconscious bias

Part Three: How to Attract Returners to Your Organisation 

Recruitment: How to Attract Returners to Your Organisation Checklist


Flexible working – the role of job boards in better promoting flexible work

Research undertaken to understand the flexible job board market and how accommodating it is in addressing the needs of Returners in Greater Manchester both in terms of advertising roles with a variety of flexible work patterns and quality job opportunities.

Flexible working – the role of job boards in better promoting flexible work


Caring, Working, Living panel

GMCVO and GMCC will deliver quarterly Panels of representatives from GM businesses, employment support agencies and people that have experience of being parents/carers to discuss issues relating to the delivery of the ‘Caring, Working, Living’ project and its aims. We will share resources and good practice from these meetings here. 

Caring, Working, Living Panel Minutes September 2019

Caring, Working, Living Panel Minutes November 2019

Caring, Working, Living Panel Minutes January 2020

Results of the Caring, Working, Living April Panel Survey


Other useful resources:

Flexible Working: The Business Case

Cross-sector Insights on Enabling Flexible Working 

How Can I Retain the Skills of My Employees Who Are Carers?

A Greater Manchester Working Carer Tookit

Returner Programmes: Best Practice Guidance for Employers

Returners: An Introductory Toolkit for Employers

Juggling Work and Unpaid Care: A Growing Issue 

CMI Flexible Working Guidance Document 


Contact details

To get in touch with us via the GMCC please email us at:

To get in touch with us via GMCVO please email GMCVO at:

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