- TIAA associates will receive 60 days of backup care benefits to help "navigate the ongoing complexities of working remotely and caring for loved ones during the ongoing pandemic," Bob Weinman, vice president of benefits and human resources operations at the organization told HR Dive in an email Nov. 12. The new benefit will take effect Jan. 1, 2021.
- Prior to the pandemic, TIAA offered employees 20 days of backup care per child per calendar year. "As the pandemic took hold in the spring, TIAA increased the backup care benefit for children and elders," Weinman said. On March 11, the firm temporarily increased its backup care benefit from $65 to $100 per day, per dependent, and made the benefit unlimited. For 2021, associates will receive 60 days at $100 each.
- "We have been paying very close attention to associates' needs during this unprecedented time," Weinman said. "Through regular communication and ongoing dialogue, it was very clear that parents and caregivers have experienced significant stress and are in need of additional support."
School closures or partial openings due to the COVID-19 pandemic require flexibility from employers for working parents, according to HR experts.
"The reality is parents and caregivers have been doing this now for five months, and they're throwing in the towel," Katelin Holloway, an independent strategic advisor and founding partner of Seven Seven Six, previously Reddit's VP of people and culture, told HR Dive in August. Some employers are transitioning benefits to support caregivers, which can provide some flexibility, Holloway said.
Notably, working women will be impacted the most, Tina Tchen, CEO of Time's Up Foundation, said during an Aug. 24 webinar hosted by The Brookings Institution. Women in the workforce, mostly those without the means for private childcare options, struggle with identifying ways to care for their children, Tchen said. It’s crucial for companies to provide stronger paid leave policies, including paid sick days and paid family leave to care for sick loved ones, Tchen added.
The annual Women in the Workplace report from LeanIn.org and McKinsey & Company, a consulting firm, found that at least one in four women are considering leaving the workforce or downshifting their careers due to the pandemic. The report was based on data from 317 companies that employed more than 12 million people. "Companies risk losing women in leadership — and future women leaders — and unwinding years of painstaking progress toward gender diversity," according to the report. The crisis can also represent an opportunity to build a more "flexible and empathetic" workplace, the organizations said.