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Empowering and Nurturing Caregivers in the Workplace

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2.5 minute read

In 2023, 38 million Americans provided unpaid care for loved ones, impacting their mental, physical, and financial health, leading to decreased workplace productivity. Unfortunately, most employers are not adequately supporting caregivers, resulting in a caregiving crisis. A study from Harvard Business School estimated that 73% of employees have caregiving responsibilities, causing significant stress and distraction at work. While some organizations offer benefits like flexible work schedules and care stipends, most employers are not adequately supporting caregivers, contributing to a caregiving crisis.

How Caregiving Impacts Employees

More than 1 in 5 adults are unpaid family caregivers, according to recent studies. Additionally, 53% of employees aged 40-49 and 36% of workers aged 40 and older are caregivers for an adult. Many employees remain silent about their caregiving responsibilities due to fear of being seen as less committed to work. This can have negative effects on their health and well-being. An AARP 2020 report found that caregiving impacted individuals in the following ways:

  • 53% of caregivers believed they don’t have a choice
  • Almost half of caregivers have experience financial ramifications, such as taking on more debt and being unable to save
  • 23% of caregivers said their health has worsened because of their caregiving
  • Nearly 4 in 10 caregivers said caregiving has been emotionally stressful
  • About 1 in 5 caregivers felt a high degree of financial strain because of the care they provide
  • 21% of caregivers rated their health as poor

Caregivers often had to adjust their work arrangements, including working remotely, changing hours, reducing hours, using sick or vacation leave, taking temporary leave, using paid caregiving leave, or quitting their jobs.


Growing Need for Support

The increasing aging population and lack of caregiving options will likely result in more working adults providing unpaid care. This can impact workplace performance, productivity, and retention, especially for women. Employers must provide adequate caregiving support to prevent burnout and turnover.


How Employers Can Provide Support

The 2021 Employer Caregiver Survey by Homethrive found that 79% of caregivers don’t have access to relevant support benefits. Employers can support caregiving employees with the following practices:

  • Provide flexible work hours
  • Offer legal and financial advice
  • Expand mental health benefits and virtual care services for caregivers
  • Provide financial support such as flexible spending accounts, long-term care insurance, and childcare subsidies
  • Offer paid time off for caregiving
  • Help employees with caregiving responsibilities understand their benefits
  • Foster a supportive company culture



The growing number of employees providing unpaid care to family members can lead to burnout, decreased productivity, and more time away from work. Employers who support these employees can improve workplace productivity and attract and retain experienced workers. Download the bulletin for more details.

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National Insurance Services is not a law firm and no opinion, suggestion, or recommendation of the firm or its employees shall constitute legal advice. Readers are advised to consult with their own attorney for a determination of their legal rights, responsibilities and liabilities, including the interpretation of any statute or regulation, or its application to the readers’ business activities.

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Denise Yanny

Denise Yanny

Denise Yanny is always looking out for her client’s best interests. Her background in benefit and claim administration makes her a trusted advocate who can help solve problems and tackle the important issues. She enjoys traveling and meeting her customers in face-to-face visits. As a licensed insurance agent and Account Representative, Denise specializes in life and disability insurance for schools, cities, and counties in the Central and Midwest Regions. Denise also has a Group Benefits Disability Specialist (GBDS) designation and is a Certified Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act Professional (NAHU).