- Cigna will double its employee caregiver leave from four weeks to eight weeks annually in 2023, the company announced earlier this month. Employees taking the leave will receive 100% of their pay.
- In the new year, Cigna also will double the number of free EAP counseling sessions available to employees to 10 per year per issue, it told HR Dive via email.
- “We believe you should be able to maintain your job — and your pay — while taking care of a loved one,” said Jill Vaslow, vice president, talent strategy and employee well-being, in a blog post announcing the change. “And we know that employees who took Caregiver Leave in 2020 or 2021 to care for a family member reported much lower stress levels when returning to work after their leave.”
Cigna’s VP of talent noted that even when employees have access to caregiving benefits, they often struggle to take care of themselves. That may pose a challenge for HR pros tasked with prioritizing employee well-being.
Remote work is one way employers can support and retain caregivers, according to a report released earlier this month. It also may level the playing field for women who tend to have disproportionate caregiving responsibilities, the research found.
Training for managers also may be key, one source previously told HR Dive, explaining that empathy and an ability to meet workers’ needs can make or break an employee’s experience at work.
Nontraditional benefits likewise have the potential to boost well-being and mitigate burnout, sources say; meal delivery services, for example, can go a long way in easing a caregiver’s day-to-day challenges.