FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Major employers join The White House Conference on Aging to announce new Caregiving research agenda
Employers, including AARP, Care.com, Home Instead Senior Care and Transamerica, Respond to Growing Impact of Caregiving on Their Employees
Washington, DC – On the occasion of today’s White House Conference on Aging, major employers led by AARP, Care.com, Home Instead Senior Care and Transamerica, committed to increasing research into the needs and issues of caregiving in the workplace by launching “The ReACT Research Agenda.” These employers, all members of ReACT (Respect A Caregiver’s Time), a corporate coalition dedicated to supporting caregivers in the workplace, have expressed increased resolve at tackling what is fast becoming the most pressing issue for employers and their employees – caregiving for loved ones with age-related, chronic conditions. This group of employers represents more than 1 million employees across the United States.
The new research agenda will tackle the most important issues affecting the future of caregivers in the workplace from an employer perspective, including:
- Demonstrating the return on investment (ROI) to employers who provide support to employee caregivers;
- Quantifying the impact of caregiving on women in the workplace and identifying best practices for retention;
- Identifying new and effective means of engaging employee caregivers in workplace support programs; and
- Examining best practices in eldercare support so that other employers can bring new innovations to their workplace.
It is estimated over 30 million American employees are dealing with elder caregiving responsibilities at a cost to business of over $34 billion. Further, according to the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM), over 90% of companies surveyed expect an increase in the number of employees caring for elderly relatives as the baby boomer generation ages. Caregiving responsibilities can often lead to absenteeism, presenteeism, passing up promotions and ultimately leaving the workforce – negative results for both the employee and employer.
“For employers, the issue is multifaceted. Not only does caregiving impact the bottom line, but, it’s taking top talent out of the workplace,” says Drew Holzapfel, Executive Director, ReACT. “Managing caregiver needs can alleviate the problem and increase an organization’s competitiveness. We are pleased to see the White House emphasize the important role that employers can play in producing a culture supportive of caregiving.””
The new insights that the ReACT Research Agenda will surface will be released publicly as the data is compiled. The multi-year program will begin immediately, and ReACT and its partners will provide a progress update in November during National Caregivers Month.
“For Transamerica Institute, caregiving is becoming a major focus of our research. We seek to better understand how the need for caregiving is impacting American workers, especially women, and their employers. We believe that the first step to solving the problem is to develop a more clear understanding of the issues being faced,” said Catherine Collinson, President, Transamerica Institute, a nonprofit private foundation. “The burdens and joys of caregiving touch almost all Americans either directly or indirectly. It is time to tackle the issue in a comprehensive way that addresses the needs workers who are trying to balance caregiving and work responsibilities, their employers who can facilitate more flexible work arrangements and — most of all, those needing care.”
“We applaud and thank the White House for leveraging the 2015 Conference on Aging to shine a spotlight on this growing and universal trend,” said Jeff Huber, President and CEO of Home Instead Senior Care. “We look forward to working together as we embark upon our collective commitment to new research and insights to produce solutions for caregivers across America.”
ReACT is an employer-focused coalition dedicated to addressing the challenges faced by employee caregivers and reducing the impact on the companies that employ them. ReACT represents nearly 1 million employees through its membership of more than 40 companies and non-profit organizations. For more information, visit www.RespectCaregivers.org.