Good News for Working Daughters, and Sons

Good news working daughters! Deloitte, one of the largest professional services firm in the world, today announced the company will offer up to 16 weeks of fully paid family leave to eligible employees to support not just parenting, but eldercare, spousal care and other family issues too. In a press release, CEO Cathy Engelbert said, “By adding support for eldercare, spousal care, and children beyond the birth stage, Deloitte’s family leave program provides our people with the time they need to focus on their families in important times of need.” 

Earlier this year Deloitte conducted an online poll of 1,000 employed adults across America with access to employer benefits, and found that nearly nine in ten respondents (88 percent) would value their organizations expanding leave policies to include family care beyond parental leave.

Of course they would. As I wrote in The Atlantic earlier this year, “There are very few support programs, formal or informal, in place to support family caregivers, many of whom are struggling at work and at home. Working daughters often find they need to switch to a less demanding job, take time off, or quit work altogether in order to make time for their caregiving duties. As a result, they suffer loss of wages and risk losing job-related benefits such as health insurance, retirement savings, and Social Security benefits.” That’s just not sustainable for caregivers, nor for our elderly who rely on family, nor for businesses that lose an estimated $3.3 billion replacing caregivers who quit their jobs.

Deloitte’s announcement is a strong acknowledgement that family-friendly workplace policies must extend past parenting needs. It is an important reminder that supporting elder caregivers is a business imperative. And, hopefully, it is the start of a trend among employers everywhere.

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3 comments on “Good News for Working Daughters, and Sons”

  1. Josh Lamont Reply

    From 2010 – 2014, I was an appointee of President Obama to the US Dept of Labor, where policies on family leave (and early dialog on paid family leave was well underway. While family leave has its champions in the new Administration, they have so far had little success. Still, a small light where a dark tunnel might be fairly expected.

    And personally, while I am not with this particular firm, I was impressed ot learn that like Deloitte, the world’s largest communications (PR) firm, Edelman Worldwide, similarly offers generous Elder Care paid time off for employees, as soon as 3-months on the job (as opposed to the year required by today’s FMLA).

    Surely there are more — and I’m eager to hear of them.

    • admin Reply

      Good to hear about Edelman. I know firsthand how challenging it can be to work in PR and access flexibility. Challenging, but not impossible.

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