Workers Demand Back-Up Child and Elder Care Support Programs
A Widespread NeedDesire for back-up care options crossed income brackets. Eighty-six percent of households earning less than $30,000 per year and 75 percent earning more than $100,000 per year said back-up care is "extremely valuable." When asked how comfortable they would be using a back-up care program, 85 percent said they would be comfortable using such programs, with little difference between men and women. When respondents were asked if they or their partner missed any work in the last year because they did not have back-up care, 59 percent responded "yes," with 56 percent missing three to 10 days of work. Additionally, 59 percent of respondents called in on short notice to use vacation time or sick leave because they did not have back-up care.
Why should companies care? Lack of quality alternatives for dependent care impacts an organizations' productivity ' and bottom line. According to the 2006 MetLife Caregiving Cost Study, absenteeism due to dependent care issues cost U.S. employers more than $5 billion (at $320 per employee) on an annual basis. Partial absenteeism racked up a bill of nearly $2 billion (at $121 per employee). Crises due to elder care issues accounted for a $3.8 billion loss (at $283 per employee). "With increasing numbers of working parents also having to care for elderly relatives, the need for back-up care services is rising," said Alan King, president of Workplace Options. "For a reasonable investment, companies that invest in back-up care support services realize huge savings as a result of reduced absenteeism and higher employee productivity and retention." In 2006, Workplace Options partnered with Bright Horizons Family Solutions to offer the Bright Horizons Back-Up Care Advantage Program. This program offers employees a nationwide, comprehensive center-based and in-home provider network for back-up child and elder care. The Bright Horizons Back-Up Care Advantage Program now serves more than 75 leading employers.
For more information on the program, learn more here.