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Employers have a role to play in helping employees balance work and eldercare obligations

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Over one-quarter of employed Canadians provide care and assistance to an elderly family member, which may lead to significant physical, emotional, and financial pressures. Employees struggling to balance work and eldercare can experience elevated stress levels, absenteeism, and work interruptions, including missing work, taking and making phone calls related to eldercare, and worrying about the care recipient while at work. It is estimated that eldercare obligations cost Canadian organizations an estimated $1.28 billion per year in lost productivity. Despite these substantial costs and implications, formal eldercare programs are not common in Canadian organizations. A new report by The Conference Board of Canada examines how providing eldercare affects both employees and employers and presents a range of accommodation solutions and best practices for implementing an eldercare strategy. Highlights of the report include:

  • Just over one-quarter of employed Canadians have eldercare obligations.
  • Successfully implemented eldercare strategies can benefit employers through retention and reduced absenteeism.
  • A minority of Canadian organizations have eldercare leave programs.

The report, The Juggling Act: Balancing Work and Eldercare in Canada, offers broad guidelines for organizations looking to develop an eldercare strategy.

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