What are care services benefits?
If you work at a small to midsize business or start-up, we’re willing to bet that a lot of your team members are juggling a lot of balls in the air. What can we say – wearing multiple hats may not be the easiest (or most fashionable) route, but it gets the job done.
But let’s not forget that once they hang up their professional hat at the end of the day, they usually put on another one. Maybe it’s “mom”, “dad”, “son”, or “daughter.”
34 million Americans are caregivers for aging adults, and both parents work full time in 46% of two-parent households. On average, caregivers spend about 20 hours per week tending to aging adults. And we’ve all heard the saying, “Raising kids is a full-time job.”
There are care options, of course, but they can be expensive. On average, parents spend $8,355/year on childcare. Elder care can be even more cost-prohibitive, ranging between $50,000 to over $100,000, depending on the type of care.
Care services benefits provide financial support for employees who care for aging adults, small children, or other loved ones who are unable to care for themselves. They help cut down on the significant costs that can come from childcare and elder care, reducing stress, burnout, and giving them more time. Using these benefits, folks can choose the best way to care for their loved ones – so they’re free to find the setup that works best for their family.
How do employees use care services benefits?
Although she was hired for her coding expertise, your Web Developer wears many hats around the company – from people manager, to onboarding leader, to company culture champion. But after she puts in a full day at the office, she heads home, where she lives with her aging father who is showing early signs of dementia.
Of course, she loves her father, and she wants him to have the best possible care. But caring for him by herself is hard work. Still, the alternative is just not financially viable. She’d love to hire a home care nurse, but it just doesn’t fit her budget.
Your Web Developer is getting spread thin — tired at home and at work, with no real days off. Caretaking, afterall, is a 24/7 gig. She knows it’s only a matter of time before this set-up starts impacting her career; 60% of caregivers have had their responsibilities at home impact their work.
After her company introduces a new care services benefit, she’s now able to afford the cost of her father’s care. Her father has a home nurse who keeps him company during the day – so your Web Developer can feel assured that he’s taken care of.
How do care services benefits impact employees?
They say “it takes a village” – and they’re 100% right. Being a caregiver is a lot of work.
There’s nothing wrong with asking for help. But that help can get expensive. 61% of working parents who make below $50,000/year can’t afford childcare, and a third of all millennial caregivers make less than $30,000/year (a quarter of all caregivers are millennials).
Even though it's done out of love, being a caregiver can really weigh on a person. It's not uncommon for caregivers to struggle with their mental health. Anywhere from 40-70% of caregivers show symptoms of depression.
Care services benefits are a way for an employer to help their employees navigate the tricky world of care, whatever that may look like for them. It can also help reduce their stress levels, reduce their stress levels, and help build financial resilience.
Most of all, it reassures them that they don’t have to do this alone. Their team has their back.
Why should employers offer care services benefits?
Being a caregiver means juggling a lot of competing priorities — and sometimes, they end up dropping some balls. More than 80% of caregiver employees say that their caregiving responsibilities have impacted their productivity at work. American companies lose $34 million a year on lost productivity from employees navigating their caregiving duties. But by easing their caregiving responsibilities, their full plates become much more manageable.
These benefits can be a major boost for hiring and retention. 72% of caregivers say their employer could be doing more to support their employees who are caregivers, while 73% of working parents were considering a significant work change to take care of their kids: altering their work schedule/cutting hours, changing jobs, or leaving their jobs entirely.
With care services, employers not only show their employees that they value their time and well being, but the whole person — including their emotional, mental, and financial wellbeing.