Deloitte to Offer Paid Leave for Elder Caregiving

Professional-services
firm will let employees take up to 16 weeks for range of caregiving

At Deloitte, the policy, which
is effective this month, applies to family members including spouses, domestic partners,
parents, stepparents, children or siblings. 

Photo Source: huffingtonpost.com

The latest step in family-friendly
benefits: paid leave for all caregiving, including eldercare.

In recent years, a parade of blue
chip employers, mainly in the technology, financial-services and professional-services
industries, have been competing to offer ever more generous. On Thursday professional-services firm Deloitte LLP is
announcing that it will offer up to 16 weeks of fully paid leave for a wide
range of caregiving, including maternity and paternity leave, eldercare and aid
for other sick family members or partners.

The
policy is a recognition that caregiving isn’t limited to new parents, but
affects a far broader class of employees, according to a Deloitte spokesman.

A recent Deloitte survey of
a thousand employees at other companies found that 88% of respondents wanted a
broader leave policy beyond parental leave. Nearly 17% of Americans over age
18—about 40 million people—provide unpaid care to an adult, according to a report by
the AARP Public Policy Institute and National Alliance for Caregiving.

The federal Family and Medical Leave
Act, or FMLA, provides up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave to care for family
members, but it doesn’t apply to all employers or workers. For instance,
businesses with fewer than 50 employees and many part-time workers generally
aren’t eligible.

Paid caregiving leave isn’t widely
offered in the U.S. The U.S. is the only industrialized country that doesn’t
mandate some form of paid parental leave. Only a handful of states and
municipalities, including California, require some form of paid family leave,
and just a small but growing number of employers are beginning to offer broader
paid caregiving leave. For instance, in May Nike Inc. announced it would offer up
to eight weeks of paid leave for workers caring for a sick relative.

At Deloitte, the policy, which is
effective this month, applies to family members including spouses, domestic
partners, parents, stepparents, children or siblings. The company is following
guidelines similar to those of the FMLA, requiring the leave to be used for
serious conditions that incapacitate loved ones for at least three consecutive
days, according to a spokesman.

Also under Deloitte’s new policy, mothers who give birth to
a child are eligible for up to six months of paid time off when factoring in
short-term disability for childbirth, the company says.

Article Source: http://on.wsj.com/2c6bv834

Key Takeaways:

1. Employees seek jobs with better leave packages causing companies to compete with one another. 

2. The United States is one of the only industrialized

countries that does not mandate paid leave.

3. Leave should not only be for parental leave, but should also include caregiving for a variety of people. 

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