Why family care benefits matter in uncertain times

When the caregiving crisis peaked during the COVID-19 pandemic and the “Great Resignation,” with more than 4 million people quitting their jobs and 50% of families leaving work because of caregiving responsibilities, one message became clear: without care, people cannot work. And when people can’t work, organizations suffer.

During these challenging times, employers of all sizes, in all industries, have 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 recruiting and retention, employee productivity , and reducing absenteeism from work. Now, as we re-enter another chapter of uncertainty with economic change, family care benefits are more important than ever.

Investing in family care benefits makes good business sense

Employers may feel pressure to reduce “fringe benefits,” but it’s important to understand that investment in (no cut) family care allowance is one of the smartest business decisions leaders can make. Here’s why.

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

While some industries are shrinking their workforces, many others are still facing labor shortages – and the war for talent remains fierce. Because carers are a large part of the workforce, employers can ease the talent gap and bridge the gap by supporting carers.

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

Yet finding care isn’t easy—especially as care costs continue to skyrocket and many families face financial hardship. In a recent Cost of Care survey, Child Care Aware estimates that 45% of parents miss work due to childcare breakdowns, resulting in an average of approximately 4.3 days off work every six months. Child Care Aware further estimates that US businesses lose $4.4 billion each year as a result of child care-related absenteeism.

How do family care benefits help?

Employer-sponsored family care benefits offer a low-cost solution to combating costly absenteeism, improving workplace productivity, and attracting and retaining top talent. Family care benefits may include:

  • A caregiver marketplace that helps employees find vetted child care, elder care, pet care, and housekeepers
  • Backup Care, a quality, proven, subsidized solution that helps employees cover those moments when their regular, ongoing care is unavailable, and they have to come to work
  • Dedicated 1:1 support to help employees navigate complex care needs and life events that may otherwise disrupt employees at work
  • Discount programs that save employees money on child care tuition and daily necessities

Family benefits are not just for working parents. They help all employees at all stages of life – parenting, elder care, pet care, education and college planning, relocation, financial difficulties, retirement and help with daily needs and major life events. A truly comprehensive offering creates equity in benefit – providing support for every diverse need at every stage of life.

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

To make the business case even more compelling, family care benefits are a fraction of the cost of health care, mental health coverage, and most other workplace benefits—making them low-cost, high-value benefits. A small investment in these benefits can have a profound impact on both employees and employers. When companies provide childcare assistance to their employees, absenteeism can be reduced by 30% and job turnover can be reduced by 60%.

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

Benefits for employees

  • 59% of employees said family care benefits are among the most important benefits they value
  • 84% of the surveyed employees stated that they need auxiliary care the most
  • 80% of employees who used care services said the benefits reduced their stress
  • Employees reported that their productivity increased by 56% as a result of Cara benefits
  • 30% of employees said that care benefits made them more likely to stay with their company

Benefits for employers

  • Employers with care benefits see a 30% reduction in employee absenteeism..
  • Care saved employees an average of 10 days of missed work per year
  • Employers reported a 34% increase in productivity.
  • Employers reduced employee turnover by 21%
  • On average, Care saved its employees $1,698 in child care costs 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 customers. Schedule a 30-minute consultation today.

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