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The Silent Cause of Absenteeism – And How to Stop It

Patrick Ball on November 26, 2014 06:08 PM

First thing Thursday morning and the email arrives. It’s Emma from accounting, apologetically:

Sooooo sorry, but I’ll be OOO all morning to take my mom to the doctor’s. Can we reschedule? Her nurse was supposed to drive, but had to cancel. Cell’s on. Should be in after lunch. Sorryyyyy!!! 

You get it – your own parents aren’t as mobile as they used to be and need help around the house from time to time. But this is the third time this month that Emma’s had to move a meeting to help her mother with an unexpected need. Her time out of the office is impacting her performance, and it’s affecting your team. 

Senior care is Corporate America’s other work-family issue. It’s the one we’re not talking about. And it’s silently taking its toll on our bottom line.

How widespread is the issue?

More than 65 million adults are providing care to someone who is ill, disabled or aged.  According to a MetLife study, nearly 60 percent of them are doing so while working full-time.

For this population, balancing personal and professional responsibilities becomes a challenge – and, when that happens, nobody wins.

Research around the issue has revealed an unfortunate trend, in which the majority of caregivers are forced to make workplace adjustments, such as turning down promotions, scaling back hours or even leaving their jobs. Meanwhile, reduced hours, absenteeism and unfocused employees cost businesses tens of billions in annual productivity costs due to care-related issues.

Read more about Senior Care: The Work-Family Issue Nobody's Talking About 

So what’s an employer to do?

The Families and Work Institute’s 2014 National Study of Employers found businesses are increasingly willing to offer some form of senior care assistance benefits. Three-quarters of employers reported providing paid or unpaid time off for employees to provide elder care without jeopardizing their jobs; nearly half are providing elder care resource and referral and 41 percent provide dependent care assistance programs for elder care.

But what about when unexpected, or emergency situations arise?

Some companies are going even further in their support of working families with caregiving needs by providing an array of lifestyle benefits, such as access to emergency backup care providers for seniors and adults with unexpected care needs.   

This is where can be helpful for employers – and their employees. Join a free webinar on Thursday, Dec. 11 to learn more about the business benefits of offering adult backup care as an employer-provided benefit for your workforce. Topics will include:

  • How backup care fills in the gaps in unusual/unexpected/emergency circumstances when ordinary care arrangements aren’t an option

  • How family-friendly benefits, like temporary adult care services, can help an organization curb absenteeism or loss of productivity

  • How to measure the ROI of a service like backup care

Led by VP of Senior Care Jody Gastfriend and Ronnie Mae Weiss, manager of Work-Life at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the webinar will be held at 12 p.m., Thursday, Dec. 11.

Click the button below to register! 

adult backup care