Here are some interesting notes about eldercare in the workplace:
- The Numbers
It is estimated that there are 3 million people caring for an older, disabled or ill loved one and working – a number that is expected to rise in our lifetime. This equates to 1 in 9 in our workforces.
- Absenteeism and Productivity
Caring responsibilities are cited to be the major cause for absenteeism in the workplace, with 61% of employers identifying caring to cause short-term absence 9 (less than 4 weeks), 49% to cause mid-term absence (4 weeks to 6 months) and 43% for long-term absence (in excess of 6 months).
- The Sandwiched Employees
The impact of caring is expanding across the workforce: Millennials and Generation X are looking after children and parents, and the Baby Boomers are looking after adult children and parents. There’s also a growing number caught in the club sandwich generation – caring for grandchildren, children and parents.
- Effect on Wellbeing
Research shows that caring can be a contributory factor in employee wellbeing, with 1 in 6 carers changing work hours or giving up work to better manage their responsibilities.
Unlike parenting, caring can happen suddenly if someone is taken ill or has accident or someone we might not expect to need our help “The thought of becoming a carer never across my mind”, wrote one carer who shared their story with Carers Trust.
- Increasing Challenge
With an ageing population, reduced pensions and an increasing retirement age, caring is a challenge which will continue to grow.
Supporting Caring in the Workplace
Many organisations are already getting ahead of the curve and increasing support for carers in the workplace, which ensures they are able to retain skilled and experienced workers, increase productivity and reduce absenteeism.
As Richard Branson once said, “if you look after your staff, they will look after your customers” – which can only be good for your people and your business!