Financial Supports and Resources
The stress, expense, and time involved in elder-caregiving can undermine work engagement and potentially force some employees to leave their jobs. One solution to this problem is provision of resources that help employees purchase care, while another is opening access to caregiving services. These approaches can enhance the prospect that employees will remain attached to their jobs and stay productive in them.
Elements of this model include providing case/care management services, vouchers or subsidies for caregiving supports (home health aides, nursing care, backup elder care etc.), dependent care services, flexible spending accounts, employee assistance programs, Work-Life programs, and access to financial counselors/planners. Keep in mind that these policies complement the information and supports model, if employers choose to pay external vendors or providers for these supports.
- Implementation strategies can vary, but all involve enhancing employee capacities to purchase care or minimizing the financial costs that care involves.
- Dependent care flexible spending accounts are the most commonly provided element of this model, and some companies provide additional financial benefits, such as allowances, subsidies, vouchers, and direct reimbursement for care.
- Companies are breaking new ground, testing new approaches to provide financial supports and resources to employee caregivers. In many cases, this takes the form of paying for back-up care and other services.
Provision of Financial Supports and Resources
The means by which financial supports are provided can vary, but all of the strategies involve maximizing the ability to purchase care or minimizing the financial costs that care will involve. Here are some examples, with data from the 2015 Talent Management Study indicating how commonly these practices are implemented.
- Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs) and Dependent Care Flexible Spending Accounts ( DCAPs) help employees by allowing them to devote pre-tax income to the care of an aging parent (or other eligible family members). Not only are these of benefit to employees, they can also provide tax advantages to employers. Comparatively, FSAs/DCAPs are among the most common ways that employers support employees with caregiving responsibilities, with two in three companies providing this resource to most or all of their employees (65.5%).
- Allowances, subsidies, and vouchers that provide monetary resources in addition to hourly pay or salary compensation is another approach. Although less common, they are offered in about one in four companies (22.7%). Reimbursement for care expenses while employees travel is offered in one in five companies (17.1%).
- Direct Hire of Care Workers. Like the use of on-site childcare, some employers are venturing into considering ways of hiring service providers that can provide care to aging parents or relatives to meet regular demands or to serve as back-up as needed.