Support working parents and caregivers and ensure they are able to properly care for members of their family.
Many working individuals take on caregiving roles for their children, elder parents and other dependents, and with the rapidly growing population of older adults, the number of working caregivers will continue to rise. Many individuals are forced to turn down professional opportunities due to concerns about work interfering with family commitments. Caregivers often have to adjust their work schedules or take time off, which can significantly impact productivity due to increased absenteeism, workday interruptions, and unpaid leave. Moreover, loss of a loved one has been associated with higher risks of mortality, physical health problems leading to disability and hospitalization, and psychological stress like insomnia, depression and anxiety. Grief is also tied to significant productivity loss and related costs—in the U.S., grief-inducing experiences cost employers an annual average of $75 billion in lost productivity and lost business.
By offering a range of accommodations, employers can create a supportive culture that meets the diverse needs and caretaking responsibilities of employees. On-site childcare that supports flexible schedules can help working parents balance family needs and work demands. Flexible work arrangements can help retain and attract employees while also improving employee productivity and engagement. Additionally, financial assistance, support groups and referral to community services can help individuals manage the unique challenges associated with being a caregiver. Providing employees sufficient time away from work to grieve, in addition to grief counseling and other support, can help reduce employee anxiety, depression and other health risks over time.
Programs and accommodations that offer flexibility benefit both caregivers and employers by ensuring that employees are able to balance their work and personal lives in a healthy manner.
Offer Childcare Support (1 point)
Projects provide at least three of the following:
On-site childcare centers compliant with local childcare licensure, operated by either the employer or a separate organization, or subsidies of at least 50% for off-site child care.
Back-up childcare assistance.
Seasonal childcare programs or policies for occupants with school-age children.
Paid sick time, paid time off or personal days for the care of a child.
One or more of the following to support all eligible employees with children: part-time options, work from home flexibility or flexible schedules.
Offer Eldercare Support (1 point)
Projects support employees who are caregivers of elderly family members through at minimum the following:
Referral program to support services (e.g., eldercare assessment, case management).
Resource list of local support services, including:
- Organizations or businesses that can help with information or products.
- Seminars and support groups for individuals caring for elderly family members.
Paid sick time, paid time off or personal days for the care of an elderly family member.
One or more of the following to support all eligible employees caring for an elderly family member: part-time options, work from home flexibility or flexible schedules.
Offer Family Leave (1 point)
Employers provide the following for all eligible employees at minimum:
- At least 12 weeks of paid leave during any 12-month period for the care of a spouse, domestic partner, child, dependent, parent, parent-in-law, grandparent, grandchild or sibling for the following events:
- Care of a family member with a serious health condition, including an illness, injury, impairment or physical or mental health condition that involves inpatient care in a hospital, hospice or residential healthcare facility or continuing treatment and/or continuing supervision by a healthcare provider.
- A family member has received notification to report for active military duty or is currently on active military duty, provided that the employee can demonstrate dependency on said family member for caregiver responsibilities.
- The option to use paid sick time for the care of a spouse, domestic partner, child, dependent, parent, parent-in-law, grandparent, grandchild or sibling.
Offer Bereavement Support (1 point)
Employers provide bereavement support for all eligible employees, including, at minimum, the following:
Protocol for notifying employers of the loss.
At least 20 days of bereavement leave offered as follows:
- At least five days of paid leave during any 12-month period for the loss of a child, spouse, parent or dependent.
- At least three days of paid leave during any 12-month period for the loss of a family member, colleague or friend.
- Additional unpaid weeks of leave during any 12-month period, granting employees a minimum total of 20 days of leave to use at any point in the bereavement process. The days of paid leave may be counted toward the 20 days.
Bereavement support resources, including:
- Specialized education materials on coping with grief, including resources for returning to work after a loss.
- Information on accessing local bereavement support services.
Coverage for bereavement counseling services at no cost or subsidized by at least 50%.
Note: Education must be culturally appropriate and literacy level appropriate. Education can come in the form of trainings, brochures, videos, posters, pamphlets, newsletters and/or other written or online information. All educational materials must be checked annually to confirm information is relevant and up-to-date.
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