WASHINGTON – Credit unions, it could be time to put a little more flexibility in employee benefits. The Employment Policy Foundation’s (EPF) Center for Work and Family Balance finds that demographic shifts have left the “Baby Boom” generation juggling work and caring for their aging parents and their children at the same time. A recently released study finds that the ability of employers to help their employees meet their family commitments is essential to an organization’s long-term success. The employees need to balance caregiving and professional responsibilities has U.S. businesses losing between $11.4 billion and $29 billion annually due to lost productivity relating to employee involvement in eldercare. Employees’ childcare responsibilities also significantly affect businesses with parents missing work on average 3.6 times per year due to a failure in regular child-care arrangements. In addition, the study projects that by 2030, 47.5 million Americans will be age 65 or older, with 7.3 million Americans over the age of 75 presenting an ever-growing challenge to employees as they become primarily responsible for providing the eldercare their elderly relatives need. EPF’s study reports that family-friendly programs can be effective recruiting tools, increase employee loyalty and retention and help employees be more productive and effective in the workplace. Some of the solutions employers are encouraged to explore include: increased schedule flexibility, schedule reduction, options for leave, telecommuting and employer-provided or subsidized child and adult care options.

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