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Caregivers Need Support From Employers — Europe Is Setting the Example

做哟u know how many caregivers are in your organization? Did you know that it could be as many as one in two people who have significant additional caregiving duties during the COVID-19 epidemic?

美世(Mercer)最近进行了一系列的焦点小组discuss how best to support caregivers in the workplace. We brought together a group of multinational companies to examine how workers coordinate care and support for their dependents ─ including children, parents, partners and other family members ─ whilst working and how employers can improve their employee experience. One in three of them identified as caregivers.

Why Is Addressing Caregiver Needs So Important?


In the U.K. alone, 1.4 million people provide more than 50 hours of work towardunpaid careper week. The value of this unpaid labor is estimated to be at least 119 billion pounds ($164 billion) annually. Almost one-quarter of these carers (24%) have considered giving up their jobs completely because of the stress. Pre-COVID, estimated levels of working carers varied significantly around the world, but to get an idea of scale, a study in the U.S. found the number increased by 9.5 million from 2015 to 2020. Carers report being in worse health compared to five years ago, and financial wellness is a growing concern: 28% have stopped saving, 23% have taken on more debt and 22% have used up personal savings.

Emotional, physical and economic problems can escalate for caregivers. They can fall behind in pay and promotion because of the pressure of caring responsibilities and may not put themselves forward for bigger roles. Their own health has been表现出遭受as a result of this extra pressure. These compounding factors can lead to an overall decline in their lifetime wealth accumulation as well as burnout and stress. This has a knock-on effect into later life and pension accrual, too. Women in OECD countries, on average, experience a 26% gap in their pensions compared to men. Much of this gap develops between the ages of 25 and 44, typically during the child care period.



做哟u know how many caregivers work in your organization, and how you can better support them? Asking yourself questions like these can help create a culture of caring and help employees thrive.

The Business Case for Supporting Caregivers

There is a strong business case for employers to support caregivers as the right support can:

  • 积极影响招聘和保留护理人员
  • 提高参与和生产力
  • Increase diversity in the workplace by enabling more carers (often women or older workers) to balance caring with work
  • 导致员工健康和福祉改善
  • Contribute to improved employee relations
  • Enhance an employer’s corporate reputation by being viewed as more innovative, more socially conscious and more inclusive by the market

A modern work-life balance policy will contribute to improving employment rates and to reducing poverty and social exclusion, in line with EU priorities reflected in the Europe 2020 targets.



  1. 包容性政策。Employers can design policies and programs that recognize the caregiving role. Examples include supportive employee networks where people can find help and like-minded colleagues and communications from the employer that acknowledge and encourage people to identify that they have caregiving responsibilities so that managers understand and can help them when needed. Organizations are using Mercer’sONDOplatform successfully as a digital networking platform for carers.
  2. Flexibility and work。Employers are getting creative about flexible working. For example, giving employees more flexibility as to when and how their work gets done, combined with carer leave and time-off policies. There are extensive different ways to do this, from granting time to attend medical appointments with those they care for to offering fullyflexible workingand灵活退休programs. Parental leave was also a highly topical discussion point with many of the focus group participants, who focused on increasing parental leave, equalizing it and promoting a fair share of parental leave between parents.
  3. Caregiving benefits。护理福利采取了许多形式。示例包括访问支持资源和补贴护理。一些创意雇主搬迁到提供补贴儿童护理和长老护理,或在家庭护理,以及可以协助提供护理需求的供应商。Digital health care解决方案和远程医疗对护理人员来说也是非常有价值的福利,他们不必担心旅行到预约。提供护理人员的福利将使雇主能够吸引/留住以前不得不在寻理和工作之间选择的人才 - 特别是更有可能接受招蔽性责任的女性。

Awareness Drives Change

When asked the question “do you know how many caregivers are in your organization?” these focus groups admitted that none of them knew the answer; 100% answered no but made a commitment to go back to their organizations to find out. Activity to assess and support caregivers in the workplace is likely to accelerate in terms of compliance with forthcoming local legislation enacted following the EU Directive.


Yvonne Sonsino

Global Co-Leader Next Stage at Mercer

Yvonne Sonsino works on issues of social importance such as the employment-related implications of longevity, job automation and transition through life phases. Her focus is on resolving the organizational implications of macro trends, such as increasing longevity and 4IR future of work scenarios.

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