- Microsoft is now offering employee caregivers four weeks of paid leave plus eight weeks of unpaid leave to care for a seriously ill family member, reports Fortune. Microsoft previously offered caregivers eight weeks of unpaid leave.
- The tech giant currently offers the benefit to employees in 22 countries, and will roll it out worldwide to 120,000 workers during the next six months.
- Other high-profile tech companies offer various paid leave plans, which employees may use for parental leave or caregiving responsibilities, but Microsoft's latest paid leave benefit is only for caregivers, says Fortune.
Microsoft isn't the first company to offer paid leave, but it's one of the first to point out the need to support the growing number of caregivers in the workforce. Caregiving often forces employees to cut work hours, take leaves of absence and even quit or be fired.
A recent Northeast Business Group on Health study found that paid caregiver leave can have important benefits for employers.
Companies may find that such leave can be a useful recruiting tool. GenXers — and, eventually, millennials — may be caring for sick, aging parents as well as sick children, so four weeks of paid leave could be attractive to those sandwiched generations. Such leave also can lower healthcare costs and boost productivity, the report found.