Creating a culture of care for your working caregivers

The responsibilities of working caregivers are putting a strain on their time and finances. With more than half of employees (56%) identifying as caregivers,1 it’s a situation that demands a closer look. In recognition of National Family Caregivers Month, we delve into the findings from our 2023 Workplace Benefits Report to learn more about the challenges faced by working caregivers.

According to the report, working caregivers sometimes find they need to shift time and attention from their careers to fulfill their caregiving responsibilities.

39% used vacation time to care for a loved one1

16% reduced their work hours1

11% left the workforce altogether1

9% turned down a promotion1

Surprisingly, the research shows that employees likely to be earning the least are spending the most on care-related expenses. In fact, 71% of employees earning less than $40,000 in annual salary have caregiving responsibilities and, on average, caregivers report spending $485 each month.1 Another study conducted by Employee Benefits Research Institute (EBRI) also finds that caregivers are more likely to have lower levels of financial assets and carry more debt than non-caregivers.2

71% of employees earning less than $40,000 in annual salary have caregiving responsibilities.1

In addition to the strain on finances, caregiving responsibilities can have an even greater impact on workers’ overall health. According to the EBRI study, 66% of working caregivers say their mental health is negatively impacted by their caregiving role and 57% say their physical health is negatively impacted.

Actions for employers to consider

Create a culture of care from the top down by adding or enhancing workplace programs based on insights from the Workplace Benefits Report, including:1

  • Leave of absence or sick days to use for caregiving
  • Flexible scheduling
  • Work from home as needed
  • Employee assistance programs (EAPs) such as counseling or support groups
  • Increased communications to make employees aware of available resources and benefits
  • Access to professionals who can provide legal guidance and/or coordinate appropriate living facilities

Key takeaways

1 Bank of America 2023 Workplace Benefits Report.

2 EBRI, Caregivers and Retirement: Findings From the 2023 Retirement Confidence Survey, July 2023.