- Focusing on employee needs through benefits is a constant among employers these days, but employees who also serve as caregivers at home are not getting the right attention, meaning productivity is taking the hit, according to Benefits Pro.
- According to BenefitsPro, being a caregiver forces employees to cut back on work hours, take leaves of absence or, in some cases, even lose their jobs or quit.
- Employee responsibility for caregiving, as more and more studies are revealing, is on the rise. AARP estimates that 23.9 million employees are providing care for a loved one while working. And a Caregivers in the Workplace study by the University of California at Hastings reported that, “Nearly one in four workers provides eldercare, and half expect do so in the next five years."
As employee-related problems outside the workplace go, caregiving may not often show up on the employer radar — but the stakes are very high. In fact, employers who do not deal with it head on not only face a loss of productivity for the reasons outlined in the Benefits Pro article, but they also could face legal action.
Family responsibility discrimination (FRD) cases are on the rise, and to meet this growing crisis, employers must train their managers and supervisors in how to effectively spot and deal with family caregiver issues. HR leaders need to step up, see what their caregiver policies are and how they might be improved. Finally, creating an effective "work coverage" plan is a smart way to manage absences brought on by unexpected caregivers situations.