How to Support Employee Caregivers in Any Job Position

As anyone who has been a caregiver knows, it’s hard to keep a career going while also caring for the health of a loved one. Compassionate employers understand this dilemma and want to support caregivers, but it’s not always clear how you can support unpaid caregivers in certain job categories.

Offering caregiver benefits to your employees is one of the most direct ways to support the caregivers on your team. Benefits like Homethrive provide live support, resources, and recommendations for products and services for caregivers and their families.

There are several other ways you can support the unpaid caregivers on your team as well, no matter what job role they occupy.

Supporting Office Workers

In some ways, office workers are the easiest category to support. Hybrid and remote work policies as well as flexible schedules and generous leave and paid-time-off policies make it much easier for someone to be a caregiver. Talking to co-workers and employees and learning about their challenges and needs will help you offer support.

Supporting Healthcare Workers

Healthcare workers already work under a lot of stress. Adding caregiving responsibilities can make their lives that much more stressful. Flexible schedules and job sharing can provide more time for medical workers to tend to their own loved ones, but equally important for supporting these essential workers is finding ways to reduce their stress at work.

Reasonable, consistent schedules, reduced paperwork, and appropriate staffing can all help reduce stress. Healthcare workers may also benefit from being able to share knowledge with colleagues in different fields relating to their caregiving needs.

Supporting Teacher Caregivers

Teachers are another category of workers under frequent stress. A teaching schedule might be perfect for some caregivers, but not others. Allowing job sharing and providing easy ways to find substitute teachers can help teachers who need time off to care for a loved one. Reducing the stress on teachers by setting reasonable expectations with parents and handling parent complaints for the teacher may also help.

Scheduled and Shift Work

It sounds counter-intuitive, but work that requires someone to be at the job on a specific schedule can be quite flexible, depending on an employee’s needs. For example, a waiter at a diner could be done working by 3:00 pm. A waiter in a high-end restaurant might not go to work until 4:00 pm.

Medical professionals, librarians, and manufacturing workers can all have shifts that can be arranged to meet caregiving needs. As an employer, one way to support these workers is to provide consistent schedules so that they can plan around them.

Changing Job Status

Sometimes a valued worker just can’t work a full-time schedule anymore. You may wish to change their job status instead of losing them. Some options include: 

  • Consultant or contract worker
  • Part-time or fractional employee
  • Freelance worker

One of the definitions of a consultant or freelance employee is that they are not required to keep specific hours. The IRS has very strict rules about who can be considered a consultant or freelancer.

It’s important to discuss this option with your HR department or lawyer to make sure you understand what is and isn’t legal. The employee also needs to understand which benefits they are losing by switching to a part-time or contract status.

For many people, their career is a huge part of their identity and the idea that they would have to choose between a career and taking care of a loved one is difficult. Employers who want to keep their dedicated workers should consider some flexible and supportive options, including offering caregiving benefits.
Homethrive saves caregivers precious time and energy that they can use to focus on their family, their job, and themselves. We believe caregivers shouldn’t have to choose between their mental, physical, and financial well-being by caring for a loved one. If you want to learn more about how we can support your employees, contact our team for a brief introduction to Homethrive.

Find out more ways to support your employee caregivers by learning about the benefits that can help

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