Thinking Beyond Leave to Support Employee Caregivers

August 18, 2020
Photo of a woman with an older woman

A new study shows the impacts of caregiving on U.S. workers and the need for more flexible workplace support. The Standard partnered with the Disability Management Employer Coalition to help employers understand the issues — and explore effective solutions. You can see ideas that go beyond leave, plus best practices to raise employee awareness of resources by watching a recorded webinar. Just enter your name and email address for access.

Caregiving Is Widespread — Paid Time Off Isn’t

About 22% of employers stated that over a quarter of their employees are impacted by elder caregiving responsibilities.* This result indicates the need for paid family leave, but many employers aren't providing paid leave to employees. Only 60% offer some form of leave — and it's not always paid. Policies often require employees to take another type of leave, such as vacation days, to receive pay for caregiving leave.

Surveyed employers who provide leave tend to offer basic policies that:

  • Allow an employee time off to care for a family member who has a serious health condition. Family members typically include a spouse, child, parent or someone who stands in “loco parentis,” a Latin term that means “in the place of parents.”
  • Cover up to 12 weeks of leave in a 52-week period after the employee has met eligibility requirements.
  • Offer unpaid leave but provide job protection.
  • Allow other leave types that may provide payment for employees to run concurrently with caregiving leave.

Some employers also provide their own, company-sponsored paid or unpaid leaves. And a growing number of states now require paid family leave.

Flexible Work Arrangements Can Help

Many employers offer flexible work arrangements to provide support for employees. The survey shows the following are the top two options:

  • 88% offer telecommuting or working remotely.
  • 77% provide flexible schedule arrangements.

Support Beyond Leave — EAP Programs

Employees also need support that they can access without taking leave. Employee assistance programs are the most common resource — 95% of employers surveyed offer an EAP. Services that help caregivers may include:

  • Financial counseling
  • Legal counseling
  • Mindfulness and stress management
  • Eldercare resources
  • Childcare resources

View the Webinar for More Insights and Tips

Beyond Leave — Creative Approaches to Support Employee Caregivers, presented by The Standard and DMEC, discussed the survey results. To access the recording, just enter your name and email address. You’ll get more insights, plus tips on how to increase employee awareness of resources and make support programs more effective.

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Demographic Perspectives