Creating Caregiver-Friendly Workplaces


In Canada, more than 3.5 million workers are also caregivers to family members or friends who have challenges related to illness, disability, or aging. Research shows that creating a flexible, carer-friendly workplace positively impacts both employees and their employers. Whether an employer wants to gain a competitive advantage by incentivizing recruitment or ensuring the retention of valued employees, creating a carer-friendly workplace is a sound investment. When the workplace provides effective carer-friendly policies, processes, and programs, it benefits from reduced absenteeism, reduced disability costs, reduced employee turnover, increased workforce productivity, and a more engaged workforce. There is an increase in employee satisfaction and well-being when employees see that their employer values them by providing a supportive workplace environment.

Course Description

This free, asynchronous online course is offered to support businesses and other organizations in creating a carer-inclusive and accommodating workplace for employees. The CSA B701-17 Carer-inclusive and Accommodating Organizations Standard and CSA B701HB-18 Helping worker-carers in your Organization Handbook were created by McMaster researchers in 2017-2018, in response to workers (also known as carer-employees, carer-workers, and caregiving-employees) who require support to be effective in their paid employment as well as in their unpaid caregiving responsibilities. This evidence-based course provides a step-by-step guide to setting the stage for creating a supportive workplace environment for carer-employees and enables managers to easily and effectively implement the Standard.


The course consists of six modules:

Module 1, Introduction and Context
Who is the carer-employee? This module explains why employers need and want to attract and retain employees who are caregivers. The diversity of caregiver needs is discussed. The module also introduces the Canadian Standards Association B701-17 Standard on which the course is based and outlines the three steps identified in the Standard that can lead to a carer-friendly workplace.

Module 2, Step 1: Building the Foundation
This module introduces Step 1 of the Standard -- the task of building the foundation. Moving toward a carer-friendly workplace requires the support of senior leadership and the creation of a carer-friendly workplace implementation team. This module discusses how to facilitate and promote a plan to ensure worker participation in the implementation of the Standard.

Module 3, Step 2: Put the Standard into Practice
Step 2 of the Standard, namely, putting the standard into practice, is explained. The module outlines the overall approach of using objectives to inform specific action items that organizations can undertake to build a better workplace environment for all carer-employees.

Module 4, Step 3: Monitor Progress and Impact
This module will address Step 3 in the process of implementing the Standard in your organization: Monitoring Progress. Steps to measure success, analyze data, and ensure continuous program improvement are discussed.

Module 5, Resources
The resources in this module will help you to extend what you have learned in the course and make informed choices as you create a carer-friendly workplace environment and implement the Standard.

Module 6, Graded Quiz and Microcredential
The quiz in Module 6 draws on the content and activities in each of Modules 1-5. If you take the quiz and score 80% (you can take the quiz as often as you wish), you are then eligible to receive a McMaster Continuing Education microcredential.


Course Details

This is an open-access, asynchronous course that can be completed on the learner’s own time. There is no facilitator; nor is there a learner group to keep up with. The estimated time for course completion is approximately 10 to 12 hours. Course participants who score 80% on the final quiz in Module 6 are eligible to receive a McMaster Continuing Education microcredential.

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 Start Date: April 1, 2024
 End Date: February 14, 2025
 Duration: 10-12 hours (self-paced)
 Cost: FREE

Registration is open from April 1, 2024 until February 14, 2025.

2141 seats available.
Price: Free