Posted ByCare.com Editorial Staff in Waltham, MA
Here are the seven most important things you should know about our new Care.com Benefits program.
Caregivers provide our families and our communities with invaluable services: they care for our children, for our pets, for our seniors and for our homes. These caregivers play integral roles in helping us manage our lives – and our sanity – on a daily basis. Yet, the vast majority of caregivers doesn’t receive any kind of benefits from their employers, or have any way of accessing them.
To address this need, Care.com launched the Care.com Benefits program. We recently held a Facebook Live chat to give a more in-depth explanation of why we created this program and how it works. If you missed it, you can find the full video here.
No time to watch? Then here are the seven biggest takeaways that you should know about:
- No One Likes to Talk About Money
Money is already a touchy subject. For caregivers, the “money” talk can become especially tricky when they try to ask employers to pay them legally, as opposed to under the table. It can be so daunting, in fact, that many end up not having the conversation at all.
- Caregivers Don’t Get Health Insurance Coverage
The National Domestic Workers Alliance recently conducted a survey that discovered that 65% of domestic workers don’t have health insurance and only 4% have employer-provided insurance coverage.
- Caregivers Don’t Get Retirement Coverage
Caregivers such as nannies, full-time sitters, dog walkers and senior aides play a critical role in our lives, and yet very few of them actually have access to crucial retirement and/or Social Security benefits. In fact, less than 2% of domestic workers receive retirement or pension funds from their primary employers. Additionally, fewer than 9% of caregivers work for employers who pay into Social Security.
- It’s Important to Take Care of the People Who Take Care of Us
A lot of caregivers struggle financially. Sure, they chose this line of work, mostly because they love it, but without access to retirement or Social Security benefits, many caregivers have a hard time taking care of themselves and their own families. They live with relatives. They accept government subsidies. These are not ideal conditions for the people we need to give their all to our loved ones.
- Care.com Benefits Is a Way for Families to Help
The benefits platform givers caregivers on Care.com access to health and dental coverage and lets them earn even more towards benefits through the Care Benefit Bucks program. Care Benefit Bucks make it possible for employers to actually contribute to their caregivers’ benefits; benefits they need to take care of themselves and their own families for the long-haul. That way, families can help set their beloved caregivers up for a more financially-secure future.
- Here’s How It Works
When a family makes a payment on the Care.com payments platform, a percentage of that transaction fee will go towards the Care.com Benefits program. The caregiver accrues Care Benefit Bucks that they can access in their Care.com account -- which can add up when receiving payments from multiple families! (To reiterate: that percentage comes out of the transaction fee, NOT the caregiver’s salary.) Families also have the option of doubling the percentage contribution.
Caregivers are then able to put those Care Benefit Bucks towards paying for things like health insurance, doctor visits, prescriptions, transportation expenses and education. In total, caregivers can redeem up to $500 over the course of a year.
- Care Benefit Bucks, by the Numbers
For example, housekeepers on Care.com earn an average of about $19 an hour. If a housekeeper works 20 hours in one week, she’ll accrue $7.60 in Care Benefit Bucks. It may not seem like much, but trust us, it adds up. In a year, in addition to her salary, that same housekeeper will have earned an additional $395 toward her benefits.
And if you'd like to learn more about our mission to professionalize caregivers, feel free to check out the video from another one of our Facebook Live chats below!