Supporting Employees Who Are Caregivers 


Amid the pandemic and the subsequent labor shortage, many employers realized how much personal responsibilities—like caregiving duties—can impact hiring and retaining workers.  



  • According to the Dept of Labor, as many as 1 in 5 full-time workers juggle both work and caregiving responsibilities for their children, their parents, or both.  
  • A Pew Research Center survey found that nearly 23 million Americans work a full- or part-time job while also providing care for an ill or disabled parent, spouse, or child.  
  • 23% of all U.S. working-age adults in their 40s are ‘sandwiched’ between an aging parent and their own children. A “Sandwiched” family dynamic was defined as workers with a parent aged 65 or older raising at least one child younger than 18 or providing financial support to an adult child.  



A “sandwich” family may need more days off or a more accommodating work schedule to care for their families. Even before the impact of the pandemic on the labor pool, many job seekers and employed workers cited a lack of childcare and eldercare as barriers to working full-time. Supporting your employees’ caregiving needs can help attract and retain workers while boosting morale and loyalty to your business.  



Start Creating a Company Culture of Support   

  • Communicate to all levels of management and staff that you embrace workers who are caregivers and that you intend to keep them employed! Caregivers are often deterred from disclosing their caregiving responsibilities and do not inform their employers because they fear it will negatively impact their careers. Building a culture of support and empathy for employees with caretaking responsibilities can encourage openness, reduce stigma towards caregivers, and raise awareness around caregivers’ unique needs. 
  • Enable managers/supervisors to support flexible work arrangements. Give your managers the ability to offer flexible work schedules to caregiving employees they supervise. Communicate this support system to all staff levels.  
  • Create an employee resource group for workers who are caregivers. This network can provide shared resources and information on adult care, child daycare facilities, assistance programs, and in-home care. Connecting employees with experts in financial planning, legal aid, local government agencies or community services can reduce stress and cost little or no money for your business.  
  • Providing employees time off to access these resources can help them in their caregiving role and ultimately enable them to perform better at work, create employee loyalty and boost morale. 


 Offer Flexible Work Arrangements when Appropriate 

  • Allow flexible work schedules. A strict nine-to-five work schedule won’t always line up with the competing demands of caregiving. Consider offering flexible work schedules to help with employees’ personal situations and allow for their unique caretaking, health, or transportation needs. Low-cost options can include flexible work arrangements like compressed workweeks, teleworking or flexible working hours outside the standard 9-5 schedule to accommodate workers’ caregiving duties.  
  • Offer remote work options. Providing this option as a long-term arrangement can bring vital flexibility to employees who double as caregivers. 
  • Consider leave donations and leave sharing so that employees can donate accrued, unused leave to a general pool or directly to other employees who experience caregiving emergencies.  


Expand Benefits and Financial Assistance 

  • Offering a flexible spending account for dependent care expenses as part of a benefits package gives employees a tax-free option for certain dependent care expenses. 
  • Employer-sponsored long-term-care insurance benefits can help employees pay for a parent’s care facilities or home health aides. Additionally, your company could help pay some or all of the insurance premiums. 
  • The average cost of center-based care for an infant is $1,230 per month. Employers can offset the cost by providing a childcare subsidy or partnering with daycare centers to offer a discount.  
  • Offer educational programs around financial planning and budgeting. 


Contract with Vendors to offer Caregiving Services 

  • Employees often have difficulty finding a caregiving provider to meet their needs. Companies can contract with a childcare or elder care service to provide employees with primary or backup care on a daily or weekly basis.   
  • Consider contracting with a caregiving service to operate an on-site daycare center at the workplace. 



According to the Dept of Labor, the number of people of working age (between ages 15 and 65) will decline in the U.S. by over 3 percent and will continue to trend downwards for the next 30 years. Besides attracting job seekers to apply to your company, employee retention of your current staff will be a priority as more companies will be forced to compete for your workers!  


Acknowledging the impact personal caretaking responsibilities have on your employees will give you an edge in crafting solutions to keep good workers. While some of these solutions may not fit your business model (your company may not be able to implement some of these suggestions), it is good to start planning how your company can accommodate the “caregiving” workforce before you lose employees!