( By Elton Mwangi)
Everybody knows that the mouthwatering essence of a sandwich is its filing. Why are we talking about sandwiches? Hold on; we’ll give you the answer in a minute.
Every generation has lived through what is known as the sandwich generation. No! Its distinguishing factor is not its age group like generation z or the millennial generation. Instead, this is a generation that is defined by its caregiving responsibilities. Are you in the stage of life where you are sandwiched between taking care of your aging parents and children? Then this is your generation.
So, what are caregiver benefits?
- Offering or participating in direct care
- Offering emotional or psychological support
- Arranging for third party care
Any employee that falls in either of the three categories is a caregiver.
Why are caregiver benefits so significant?
In the face of the pandemic, the economy is already facing an unprecedented downpour of challenges. But if there is one thing the coronavirus pandemic has made precise, it is the fact that the sandwich generation can break or make an economy. Sick people cannot work productively: in lieu of work, they need to stay at home. But it is equally hard for the caregiver to go to work when they are responsible for older adults, sick family members, and children.
Besides, the countrywide lockdown resulted in the closure of the daycare centers that could lessen the caregiving responsibilities. That is one primary reason why caregiving benefits are especially important during these outlandish times. According to Melinda Gates, putting caregiver benefits at the forefront of solutions can massively determine the rebirth of the American economy.
This is why as an employer, you need to step up
Look at it from this perspective:
A caregiver spends all of her time off work and paid time off on family care. With no time left for vacations or rest, the caregiver becomes more susceptible to burnout, stress, and inevitably they become less productive while at work or home. More mistakes are made, and in worst cases, the health of the caregiver deteriorates as well. Now the tardiness and absent rate of the caregiver is affected. They might even take a leave of absence or quit their job altogether.
According to Gallup research, 16 percent of male workers and 20 percent of female workers in the United States are caregivers. On average, a caregiver is forced to miss 6.6 working days due to their caregiver responsibilities. For employers, this accounts for 25 billion dollars in losses in terms of lost productivity.
And now, in the wake of COVID-19, companies are increasingly losing out to caregiving burdens. One, caregivers have no compensation or caregiver insurance to take care of their needs. Two, the basic employee coverage does not cater to the particular field of caregiving. Three, it is fated that caregiving has a direct impact on the employer.
As a decision-maker or an employer, ignoring the call to offer caregiving benefits is skating on thin ice. A caregiving survey determined that at least 23 percent of employers are offering paid leave for caregivers. Nevertheless, most companies are below average with regards to developing caregiving-friendly benefits. There is much room for improvement.
Types of caregiver benefits to consider
There are three primary caregiver insurance benefits you can consider when starting on your caregiving benefits package,
- Compassionate care benefits
- Family caregiver benefits for adults
- Family caregiver benefits for children
You can also use this caregiving in times of crisis toolkit to give you an idea of other benefits you can consider for your workforce caregivers.
Caregivers are the people that take care of their family members – young, adult, or sick- without any pay. What are caregiver benefits? These are the employee coverage options that take care of the needs of the people that are in charge of family care. Caregiver benefits are inherently vital to the employer because they help to increase work productivity, which in turn increases business revenue. In a crisis like the current coronavirus, where many people require nursing and care, caregiving benefits are becoming an incorrigible ideal.