Leah Shepherd, writing for Employee Benefit News, reports that employers across the country face changes in their workforce due to shifting demographics and a new economic reality. The Council of Economic Advisers report “Nine Facts About American Families and Work” explains the changes, including the fact that most workers have caregiving responsibilities and the growth in women’s participation in the labor force.
The Council’s report makes it clear that the experience of working families in the workforce is integral to business and economic success and requires work-family policies designed to help workers balance caregiving with work responsibilities. Mothers are more often the sole household income earners, women make up almost half the workforce, fathers are taking on more family caregiving responsibilities, and men and women are struggling to balance work and family.
New benefits needs for working families mean companies need assistance from brokers to understand and implement benefits changes to support the workforce. Benefits that provide workplace flexibility such as flextime, teleworking, paid and unpaid time off, job-sharing, and maternity and paternity leave not only help workers, they have an impact on business competitive advantage in the labor market, contributing to recruiting and retention.
The Council’s report shows that workplaces that haven’t kept up with flexible work and family policies leave workers struggling without options to address their whole life needs, and seeking solutions with jobs that offer better work life benefits.
The results for employers who don’t offer some kind of work flexibility include losing workers to companies that do offer more flexible work arrangements and losing out on candidates who don’t take open positions because of conflicts with caregiving obligations. The report explains that almost half of working parents say they had to pass on a job because of limited or nonexistent flexibility and more than a third believe their need for a flexible work schedule hurts their opportunities for advancement.
A May 2014 Harris Poll about workplace flexibility shows a majority of Americans favor flexible workplace policies and two-thirds feel that more employers are offering flexibility. Karen Kornbluh is executive VP of external affairs at Nielsen, the company that owns The Harris Poll. She says workplace flexibility is becoming a mainstream reality and that all types of workers are interested in and need it. The Poll showed that more than half or U.S. workers said their work schedules affected how well they could do their job and more flexibility would mean better productivity.
Contact PAYDAY for more assisstance on benefites for working families.
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