Workforce 2020 & Beyond: Family Caregivers and the Unseen Labor in America

For many employees, work is not limited to the workday and expands to include the role of caring for loved ones at home before, after, and often during their jobs. Not surprisingly, organizations who offer caregivers more empathetic benefits policies and programs are viewed more favorably. The end result being a more loyal, committed, caregiver workforce.


Caregivers are a growing part of the American workforce

About 23 million Americans provide ongoing care for an
ill or disabled parent, spouse, or child. In addition to their
home and work responsibilities, they spend on average
nine hours per week providing care.


Caregiving impacts overall well-being

Well-being Index score is “very good/excellent”:



Caregiving affects careers and finances

The strain of caregiving often translates to financial stress
for many. Seven in ten caregivers believe that taking time
off or leaving the workforce in order to care for a loved one
had significant financial impact on their family.


Caregivers want to work for employers that care


Subsidized access to these support services are of particular interest:

• Tax/estate planning, special needs trust
• Video-based training and in-person coaching on caring
for children with special needs
• Referral services for special education programs
• Back-up care services
• Coaching and wellness support for caregivers


Addressing the Needs of Workforce 2020 & Beyond 

Organizations can best support caregivers by establishing policies and providing access to benefits and resources that are
inclusive and contribute to improved health and productivity. Below are benefits that can have a positive impact.

Paid Leave

• Paid time off (PTO) programs that group time-off
reasons into a single category
• Paid family and medical leave for parental bonding or
to care for sick/injured loved ones
• Paid sick leave

Flexible Work Arrangements

• Telecommuting options contingent upon an individual’s
personal needs, job function, or ability to perform
• Flexible scheduling to accommodate their personal
situation, such as caregiving responsibilities, health
conditions, or transportation needs

Well-being Resources

• Employee assistance programs offer services such as
mental health and substance abuse counseling
• Wellness initiatives
• Health savings accounts (HSA) and health
reimbursement arrangements (HRA) help reduce
out-of-pocket medical costs
• College savings and student loan reimbursement plans

Inclusive Policies & Communications

• Create benefits communications that are inclusive
of all workers
• Training to help avoid misunderstandings or
• Reinforce and review recommendations from the
Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)
to ensure compliance with nondiscrimination

Access to Virtual Services

• Telehealth and teledentistry offer medical and
dental consultations, evaluations, diagnosis,
and treatment
• Referral services and online resources for information
on adult care or child day care facilities, government
financial assistance programs, support groups, and
in-home care
• Health concierge or healthcare advocates can help
address healthcare issues during business hours  



Unless otherwise noted, the source of all information in this report is from the Guardian Workplace Benefits Study 8th Annual (2020). The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America (Guardian), New York, NY. Guardian, its subsidiaries, agents, and employees do not provide tax, legal, or accounting advice. Consult your tax, legal, or accounting professional regarding your individual situation. GUARDIAN® is a registered trademark of The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America.®
©Copyright 2020 The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America
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