Balancing the demands of work and care is a highly topical issue in Canada. In 2012, there were over 5.6 million employed caregivers in Canada, most of whom worked full-time (RRAP, 2015). Many of these caregivers struggle to balance employment and caregiving.
In 2014, focus groups with caregivers and employers were conducted in order to gain a better understanding of the challenges that both caregivers and their employers experience in combining work and care. You can read the full report here.
Upon completion of an environmental scan and the focus groups, an assets and opportunities report on caregiving and employment was created. The report outlines:
The impacts of caregiving on employers and individual caregivers
Available supportive options and additional supports that would be helpful
Enabling and complicating factors in the creation of a supportive work environment
The benefits of a supportive environment for both caregivers and employers
You can read the full report here.
The key findings of the above reports suggest a strong need for employers to support their caregiving employees. Consequences of working while providing care include job loss, stagnant career progression, working fewer hours, and loss of income due to unpaid leave. The cost to employers include an increase in absenteeism, poor presenteeism and productivity, delayed projects, higher health care costs, and other related expenses.
The reports reveal that there are policies and actions that employers can take to mitigate these issues, from providing flexible work arrangements to having work-life balance as a corporate value.
To learn more about the effects that caregiving employees can have in your workplace go to the Business Case.