Caregiving benefits are a great idea for the workplace. That said, not all employers are willing to offer them. In surveys, twenty-seven percent of companies said they would provide caregiving benefits. But only one-fourth offered onsite childcare. Well, guess what? You might know someone who could enjoy these benefits if you lead by example. Isn’t it time that you offered your employees some well-deserved perks? It’s an opportunity to show that the company cares about the individuals and their needs. Plus doing so will have a positive return on investment in more ways than one!
This article talks about how giving caregiving benefits is good for both employers and their employees. As well as why it can be beneficial if done strategically and with caution. We have also provided some helpful points for employers in regards to offering caregiving benefits. And also, about how to make it a success.
Why Offer Caregiving Benefits?
Many people would rather work from home or with a part-time schedule. They want to spend time with their kids, or they want a flexible schedule. What most employers don’t do is understand the reason behind this wish. When you take steps to accommodate your employees’ caregiving issues. It’s not just about providing them the flexibility they want. But you will be doing the same thing for their families as well. Finally, you will have happier employees and better productivity in the workplace.
Why Offer Caregiving Benefits?
There are a lot of benefits to offer your employees when it comes to caregiving. Studies show that financially helping your employees is a great way to keep their loyalty. And that keeping the workplace open for them is the other key trait of loyal and productive employees. Most companies set up a flexible schedule for their employees. Yet, it’s only once or twice a year or in an emergency.
You need to reach out to the available parents. And also, send them home between shifts or even during shifts regularly.
– You might hate to hear this but like you, your employees have a life outside of work. You only want the best for your child, right? What if you had to miss some time with them because of a sudden emergency? It’s no different for your employees. It’s not that they’re looking for excuses, but some things do come up from time to time. They need flexibility and understanding from their boss.
– When more companies offer caregiving benefits. There will be fewer complaints from employees about working from home or with flexible schedules. It will become a lot more acceptable and routine. You need to be the leader when it comes to doing so.
– There are many reasons why your employees might want or need a flexible schedule. If the cost of daycare worries them. It often means there is no alternative available for them. If they only have one car and there’s no public transport nearby. They might want to work from home. Thus they don’t have full-time care available at home on weekdays but could use it on weekends instead? Do you see the pattern here? It all boils down to the economy and quality of life.
– By offering caregiving benefits. Your company will attract more talented workers who can work harder. Plus they will stay longer and work in a happier environment.
It also makes your employees feel great when they know their employer cares about them and their needs. You are showing them that you have trust in their integrity, that you are willing to give back a little if you want to get the best from them.
What Caregiving Benefits Can Employers Offer?
Flexible schedules and workplace adjustments:
This can include telecommuting regularly or for an entire week or month if necessary. It can also be an incentive to encourage employees to be part of a team.
If your employees are having difficulties in the working environment. They might want to take a leave for a few days or weeks at a time. Apart from being good for their health and family. It’s also a great way to show that you trust them and know that they’re worthy of your trust.
This can include family-friendly policies such as flexible schedules. It can also include childcare facilities and other support staff. And also include amicable work environments so that both the employees and their families are happy at work.
This is important for anyone who is having a baby. To allow your employees to bond with the baby and be there from the beginning, you must offer a paid leave. When you do so, it will encourage their loyalty as well as that of their child or children. They’ll know that they are important and they will want to stay on with you for years to come.
Providing adoption benefits is also another way to show your employees that you appreciate them and their family needs. It simply makes them feel good about themselves when they know that their employer cares about them.
Employers should offer flexible schedules. Plus they should offer childcare facilities to their employees to make their lives easier. With daycare, they can work longer hours without having to worry about their kids.
Foster care benefits:
If you are looking for family-friendly employers in the future. It’s best if you focus on employers who offer caregiving benefits to their employees. It gives a good impression and shows just how much your company cares about them.
To wrap up, offering caregiving benefits to your employees is something they will appreciate. It’s a sign of trust and that you are willing to work with them. You need to be open-minded and understand that they do have a life outside of work. It’s not about money. But sometimes employees want the flexibility to spend time with their kids whenever they have time off.
In the past, employees who were primary caregivers for a family member or loved one were ineligible for FMLA leave due to the lack of an explicit caregiving designation. Thankfully, this is no longer the case.
It’s important that employers make designations for those who hold such responsibilities so their staff may be granted appropriate time off to tend to their obligations and care for themselves during a difficult time.
When is an employee a primary caregiver?
Sole or primary caregiver: the individual who has responsibility for the daily care and supervision of a family member or loved one and ensures that those needs are met. A primary caregiver may be a child, parent, sibling, grandparent, spouse, or another relative.
The employee is entitled to take leave under FMLA if he or she:
Is responsible for the care and supervision of a family member (spouse, parent, sibling or child) who has a serious health condition;
Is designated as the individual who will have responsibility for his/her own medical treatment (primary provider); or
Has been determined by a licensed health care practitioner with appropriate knowledge of the employee’s case as requiring an immediate presence to provide health care services to a family member due to a serious health condition.
How to Designate a Primary Caregiver for FMLA Leave
Designate the individual who will have responsibility for their own health care needs. The primary caregiver can be the employee or his/her spouse, parent, sibling, or child.
The individual who will have responsibility for his/her own health care needs must:
Meet all of the FMLA leave eligibility requirements; Be an employee, or Be a spouse or parent of someone who is eligible to take FMLA leave but has not done so.
In addition to primary caregivers, there are other individuals who may be exempt from FMLA leave. The following types of employees are not eligible for FMLA leave:
All part-time, seasonal and temporary employees, supervisors and managers, shift workers; Any employee covered by a collective bargaining agreement (CBA); and any employee with bona fide reasons for requesting leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA).
What if an employee is the primary caregiver but doesn’t want to take a leave?
If an employee is the primary caregiver of a family member (spouse, parent, sibling or child) but elects not to take FMLA leave for that reason, the employer must accommodate that request. An employer is required to:
Make reasonable efforts to accommodate the employee’s request for accommodations; and If these efforts are unsuccessful, provide FMLA leave without loss of salary and benefits.
When is FMLA leave required?
An employee who has been designated a primary caregiver must be granted FMLA leave unless it would cause undue hardship to the employer. Undue hardship means that the employer cannot operate without the assistance of the primary caregiver. Each situation is unique and requires careful analysis by trained HR professionals to determine what is required.
Our no-stress approach to employee care issues is to make FMLA leave a proactive team effort. We can help you avoid that dreaded question, “What is my employee’s plan if something goes wrong?”
Which should be your first question at this time: “Is the employee eligible to take FMLA leave”, or should you ask, did our employee make a contribution to their health plan, up to $5,000 per year?
Ask if there are any other current issues with our employees and we will help you avoid the secondary damage of privacy laws and HIPPA regulations. Also, we can help you make the right decisions for your organization’s protection.
The FMLA regulations cover some unpaid leave and require it to be lost if the employer does not allow for it. That does not mean all of your time will be lost; other time entitlements and benefits may continue for all employees unless one of the following occurs:
Employees are disciplined for abusing their health plans. They just can’t get their work done. Also, they have to go on a medical emergency or vacation without you.
Perhaps you are not writing the plan correctly or your employees are not working with you. At this point, you must write the carryover rules and notify the employee in advance. Your employee has the right to take absences for critical or emergency health needs.
In most states, the unpaid time off allotted is 24 weeks. In this case, it comes out over a year and maybe spread out into six months of time off. The employer can limit this to 12 weeks but it must be in writing. If you allow your employee more than 12 weeks, you will not have an FMLA-compliant policy as provided by the Department of Labor.
When you have employees who elect to take FMLA leave, document the spending time. This may help you when they return and are trying to get back into the swing of things.
A good way to encourage your employees to use FMLA leave is to offer them some kind of incentive. In doing so, you are encouraging them to take care of themselves and their families.
If one employee takes an extended vacation, it may hurt your business. Your benefit to best support your workforce.
To be eligible for FMLA leave, an employee must work for a covered employer. In general, the following employers are under by FMLA:
Employers with 50 or more employees during 20 or more workweeks in the current or preceding calendar year; State and local governments (including school districts, as of January 16, 2009); and Any public or private elementary or secondary school with 50 or more employees.
The law covers employers in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, as well as all U.S. territories, including Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.
Employers may also be covered by FMLA if they meet certain criteria related to an employee’s eligibility for unemployment benefits or are a public agency that was required to recognize a federal labor organization under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA).
To add this benefit to your company/organization, please reach out to Nannies & Kids United at (770)284-6090 or [email protected].