To address the growing needs of employees who also have family caregiving responsibilities (providing care for a family member or friend with an illness or disability), the UW—Madison Division of Extension offers an Employed Caregiver Survey. This anonymous, no-cost, web-based survey helps employers and their employees understand the scope and needs of employed caregivers as they strive to create healthy and supportive workplaces.
Balancing work and family caregiving responsibilities is extremely common, and can be stressful. Approximately 40 million Americans are providing care to an adult family member or friend with an illness or disability, and nearly 60% of them (approximately 24 million adults) also work a paying job. Even more workers are providing care for a child with disabilities or other special healthcare needs. Not only do employed caregivers experience high levels of stress, their dual roles also have career and work-related impacts. For example, more than six in ten employed caregivers report making workplace accommodations such as using flex time, reducing work hours, or quitting work entirely. Without adequate support, both working caregivers and their employers suffer. The magnitude of missed work from the employer’s standpoint translates into an estimated loss of more than 120 million workdays each year, and the equivalent of $25.2 billion in lost productivity.
The good news is that employers have the opportunity to provide support and resources for their caregiving employees, potentially increasing employee retention and productivity, decreasing absenteeism (and presenteeism), and increasing employees’ overall well-being. The Employed Caregiver Survey is employers’ first step in this process, aiming to help employers understand the prevalence and needs of their employees who have caregiving responsibilities, and providing a framework for responding to those needs.
Watch a brief video about caregivers who are employed and the impact caregiving can have on their work.
View additional videos and the guide, “What Every Employer Should Know: Helping Employees Balance Work and Eldercare.”
Listen to this 2013 interview about the ECS with Teri Zuege-Halvorsen and Clif Barber conducted by Wisconsin Public Radio in Superior by Joe Gigliotti, Student Reporter, KUWS Radio (WPR) News Department.
References and Resources:
Family Caregiver Alliance. (2016). Caregiver Statistics: Work and Caregiving. Retrieved from https://www.caregiver.org/caregiver-statistics-work-and-caregiving.
Feinberg, L. F. (2016). The dual pressures of family caregiving and employment. Washington (DC): AARP Public Policy Institute. Retrieved from https://www.aarp.org/content/dam/aarp/ppi/2016-03/The-Dual-Pressures-off-Family-Caregiving-and-Employment.pdf.
Frameworks Institute. (2017). A caregiver’s guide to preventing and addressing elder abuse. Retrieved from http://frameworksinstitute.org/toolkits/elderabuse/elements/items/elder_abuse_sc_pamphlet.pdf.
Frameworks Institute. (2019). Frameworks Academy Reframing Aging Training Online. https://frameworksacademy.org/products/reframing-aging.
Ireson, R., Sethi, B., & Williams, A. (2018). Availability of caregiver‐friendly workplace policies (CFWP s): an international scoping review. Health & social care in the community, 26(1), e1-e14.
National Alliance for Caregiving. (2015). Caregiving in the US 2015. NAC and the AARP Public Institute. Washington DC: Greenwald & Associates.
Nordgren, P., Zuege-Halvorsen, T., Malek, F., & Barber, C. (2013). The eXtension Employed Family Caregiver Survey: Highlights from Data Gathered from Wisconsin Employees and Employers in 2010 and 2011. Journal of Extension, 51(2), 2FEA3.
Witters, D. (2011). Caregiving costs US economy $25.2 billion in lost productivity. Gallup Well-Being. Retrieved from: http://www.gallup.com/poll/148670/caregiving-costs-economy-billion-lost-productivity.aspx