S&P Global/AARP Report: Companies Expanding Family Care Leave Due To COVID-19; Pandemic Severely Impacting Women in the Workforce
NEW YORK and
Survey data from 1,600 employees of companies with more than 1,000 employees was used to compile the report. According to the findings, while COVID-19 could drastically accelerate expansion of family care leave and flexible work policies in corporate America, it could also set women back significantly in the labor force as a disproportionate amount of caregiving responsibilities still falls to them.
The research includes interviews with 12 key executives who personally leveraged care leave and provided perspectives about how companies can most effectively embrace these policies. Several executives voiced fears that the pandemic will significantly set back women's advancement in the workforce. In addition to formal parental and family caregiving leave, interviewees stressed flexibility as key to recruiting and retaining women.
"The pandemic has highlighted an opportunity for the
The report found that companies offering flexibility or subsidized/back-up elder or childcare tend to see lower turnover rates for women, which is critical as women leave the workforce in record numbers in the wake of the pandemic.
Half of family caregivers surveyed said their responsibilities have increased since the pandemic started. According to the
"One in six Americans were already juggling work and family caregiving responsibilities prior to COVID-19, and their unique challenges have only expanded as they try to keep themselves and their loved ones safe," said
Other key findings from the report include:
- Companies with revenue over
$1Bare more likely to offer paid parental leave (58% of large companies vs. 42% of smaller companies) and flexible work schedules (43% of large corporations vs. 38% of smaller companies).
- Only 10% of companies offer 14 weeks or more of at least two-thirds paid primary care leave and just 19% offer a minimum of two weeks of paid secondary care leave (defined as the person who is not leading childcare duties).
- Since their commitments have grown, more than 30% of family caregivers are experiencing a strong increase in stress due to the pandemic's impact on their work-life responsibilities. Nearly 43% of respondents reported a moderate increase in stress.
- Regardless of leave offered, on average, senior managers take far less time for parental or family care than more junior employees. Just 23% of senior managers took more than four weeks of leave, versus about 30% of more junior staff.
- A far greater number of younger caregivers felt their caregiving responsibilities led them to being penalized at work: 63% of caregivers aged 18 to 24, compared to 45% of those aged 35 to 54 and just 14% of those 55 or older.
This research was the first of its kind led by the
Read the full report at spglobal.com.
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