- Due to the pandemic, the vast majority of employers are more aware of the care challenges their workers face and have adjusted benefits accordingly, according to a Care.com report shared with HR Dive. Half of employers surveyed said they plan to offer new or expanded child care benefits "in the near future."
- Nearly two-thirds of employers surveyed (64%) said they have experienced high attrition rates and nearly all of those employers said care concerns were "a major factor," the Feb. 22 report surveying 500 C-Suite HR leaders and managers said. To aid this, employers are opting to offer more work flexibility (66%) and add childcare benefits (63%).
- The changes may be key to keeping women on board; 71% of employers surveyed said that attrition was more pronounced with female employees, with 24% saying it is "much more pronounced."
The pandemic has created retention concerns for employers, particularly those with workforces that care for children or with other caregiving responsibilities, other studies have shown. Of the 32% of employers surveyed by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce who said they lost employees during the pandemic, half cited child care concerns. Additionally, employers may have work to do; while businesses said they offer "adequate" support, according to the Chamber, only 13% had surveyed employees on the topic.
A lack of child care benefits was a workforce concern even prior to the unique pressures of the pandemic. Working parents who lack such benefits may experience financial hardship, job performance problems and higher turnover rates, according to a January 2020 survey by Clutch.
But while child care still may not be an option for some families across the country, employers have turned to small cultural changes to make workplaces more accommodating to parents and caregivers.
"People had really tried to separate work and family for the longest period of time, and at some point during this pandemic, it became acceptable for a child to be playing in the background, or a toddler to be curled up on your lap," Nicole D'Uva, associate vice president of employee health and LifeWork strategies at Adventist, previously told HR Dive. "For me, that was actually a turning point in the respect and engagement I had for this organization."
Women are especially impacted by the challenges wrought by the pandemic. According to a September survey by Cleo, women lose 49% more productive work time than men and 61% of women said they feel responsible for the majority of caregiving in their partnership.