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Employee Benefits to Support Caregivers: What HR Should Know

Employee Benefits to Support Caregivers: What HR Should Know

A family member falling ill can be taxing on an employee stepping in to provide caregiving duties. Whether they are providing help from a distance or supporting a loved one nearby, family care can be time-consuming and emotionally draining.

As an organization, supporting your employees in and out of the workplace is crucial. While you hope family tragedies don’t happen, offering benefits that help support employees when they do is one way to go the extra mile for employee satisfaction and retention. Here are some benefits to provide caregivers and why they’re important.


Best Benefits to Offer Caregivers

It can feel obvious to offer your employees paid leave for emergencies; however, it's important to ensure your policies accommodate all employees. The Family and Medical Leave (FMLA) is in place to protect employees should they need to take an unpaid leave of absence for up to 12 weeks. It also requires that their health benefits continue while on leave. 

Outside of FMLA, your organization may want to offer additional paid family leave in case of the unexpected. You may lump all paid days off together for vacation, sick, and personal days for emergencies—or your organization may consider breaking them apart and offering additional paid days outside of PTO that are dedicated specifically for emergencies, allowing employees the flexibility to not sacrifice their vacation days.

According to a recent national survey, in addition to paid family leave, the benefit caregivers found most helpful was flexible scheduling. Flexible schedules vary from organization to organization, from allowing employees to set their own hours to offering hybrid work options if needed. 

In addition, flexibility is a low-cost benefit for an organization and is a huge stress relief for those caring for loved ones. It allows extra time to travel, attend doctor’s appointments, and provide quality care while still maintaining their workload. 


Research Healthcare Options

Last but certainly not least, it's essential to provide robust healthcare options to your employees that protect them and their loved ones. While healthcare plans often don’t extend outside of spouses and offspring, it’s still crucial that your employees have access to good health coverage to take care of themselves. 

It's also equally as important to look into offering resources such as counseling or assistance to those who are caregivers. Some healthcare plans provide these, so be sure to research your organization's options to effectively communicate them with employees.


Additional Resources

You can stay informed, educated, and up-to-date with important HR topics using BerniePortal’s comprehensive resources:

  • BerniePortal Blog—a one-stop-shop for HR industry news
  • HR Glossary—featuring the most common HR terms, acronyms, and compliance
  • HR Guides—essential pillars, covering an extensive list of comprehensive HR topics
  • BernieU—free online HR courses, approved for SHRM and HRCI recertification credit
  • HR Party of One—our popular YouTube series and podcast, covering emerging HR trends and enduring HR topics


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