Why family care benefits are essential in uncertain times

Why family care benefits are essential in uncertain times

U.S. businesses lose $16 billion each year as a result of inadequate child care.

When the care crisis peaked during the COVID-19 pandemic and the “Great Resignation,” and more than 4 million people resigned and 50% of families left a job due to caregiving responsibilities, one message became clear: without care, people cannot work. And when people can’t work, organizations suffer. 

During those challenging times, employers of all sizes, across every industry, recognized that a small investment in family care benefits—benefits that help employees better care for themselves and their loved ones—can lead to big payoffs in recruitment and retention, employee productivity, and decreasing absenteeism. Now, as we once again enter another chapter of uncertainty with economic shifts, family care benefits are more important than ever. 

Investing in family care benefits makes good business sense

Employers may be feeling pressure to cut back on “ancillary benefits” but it’s important to understand that investing in (not cutting) family care benefits is one of the smartest business decisions leaders can make. Here’s why. 

Seventy-three percent of employees have caregiving responsibilities, and more than 80% of employees with caregiving responsibilities report that their caregiving duties affect their productivity at work.  Unless employers support caregivers in the workplace they remain at risk of decreased productivity and costly, unwanted employee absenteeism. 

While some industries are experiencing workforce reductions, many others are still facing labor shortages—and the war for talent remains high. Since caregivers are a large portion of the labor pool, employers can alleviate the talent shortage and close the gap by supporting caregivers.

For industries that are affected by workforce reductions, supporting those employees they retain will be critical. Employees who stay on will be expected to do more work with less resources—which can quickly lead to burnout and stress. In order to be productive, present, and focused at work, employees will need to have reliable and affordable care plans in place at home. 

Yet finding care is not easy—especially as care costs continue to skyrocket and many families face financial hardship. In a recent Cost of Care survey, 59% of working parents are more concerned about child care costs now than in years prior. As a result, working parents are taking on a second job (31%), reducing hours at work (26%), changing jobs (25%), or leaving the workforce entirely (21%). ​​Child Care Aware further estimates that U.S. businesses lose $16 billion each year as a result of inadequate child care.  

How do family care benefits help?

Employer-sponsored family care benefits offer a low-cost solution to combat costly absenteeism, improve workplace productivity, and attract and retain the best talent. Family care benefits can include: 

  • A caregiver marketplace to help employees find vetted child care, elder care, pet care, and housekeepers 
  • Backup Care, a quality, vetted, subsidized solution to help employees cover those times when their regular, ongoing care is unavailable, and they need to get to work
  • Dedicated 1:1 support to help employees navigate complex care needs and life events that can otherwise distract employees from work
  • Discount programs that save employees money on child care tuition and everyday needs 

Family care benefits are not just for working parents. They help all employees at every life stage—parenting, caring for elders, pet care, education and college-planning, relocation, financial hardship, retirement, and assistance with daily needs and major life events. A truly comprehensive offering creates benefit equity—providing support for every diverse need at every life stage. 

Family care benefits are a low-cost, high-value benefit

To make the business case even more compelling, family care benefits are a fraction of the cost of healthcare, mental health coverage, and most other workplace benefits—making them a low-cost, high-value benefit. A small investment in these benefits can have profound impacts for both employees and employers alike. When companies provide child care assistance to their employees, absences can decrease by 30% and job turnover can decline by 60%. 

Here are some additional statistics on the benefits of providing family care benefits gathered through research, survey data, and studies compiled by Care.com:

Benefits for employees

  • 59% of employees said family care benefits are among the most important benefits they value
  • 84% of employees surveyed said Backup Care was their top care need
  • 80% of employees who used Care services said the benefits decreased their stress
  • Employees indicated their productivity increased by 56% as a result of Care benefits
  • 30% of employees said Care benefits make them more likely to stay at their company

Benefits for employers

  • Employers who have Care benefits see a 30% decrease in employee absences
  • Care saved employees 10 days of missed work per year on average
  • Employers reported a 34% increase in productivity
  • Employers reduced employee turnover by 21%
  • On average, Care saved their employees $1,698 in child care expenses per family, per year

Now is the time for employers to invest in family care benefits. Let us help you estimate the ROI savings for your clients. Schedule a 30-minute consultation today.

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