Employee benefits provider Unum (NYSE: UNM) has a new benefit for its employees: paid caregiver leave. Starting this year, the company will provide five consecutive business days of paid leave for eligible U.S. employees who need time away from work to care for a spouse, child, or parent due to a serious health condition.
One in six workers are caregivers, but less than one in five have access to paid family leave benefits. Unum’s research among more than 600 working caregivers across the country found the toll of caregiving far-reaching. Many working caregivers face stress, anxiety, or depression (61%), exhaustion (49%), and financial strain (44%).
“Paid caregiver leave gives employees the time to focus on caring for those they love when they need it most,” said Rob Hecker, vice president of Global Total Rewards. “It’s an important part of supporting the physical, emotional, and financial wellbeing of our employees and their families.”
The paid caregiver leave benefit is one way Unum helps its diverse workforce balance their work and personal lives, across all stages of life.
“As the primary caregiver for my mom, it’s nice to know I have the option to take extended time off to be with her should I need it,” said Leah Gove, Unum employee. “This benefit—on top of Unum’s generous paid time off plan—helps me balance all the responsibilities that come with caring for a loved one.”
Unum provides eligible employees these work-life balance resources:
- Competitive time off and flexible working policy.
- Employee assistance program with access to counselors and support services for eldercare, childcare and more.
- Three days of paid bereavement leave per year for employees who lose a loved one, including a miscarriage.
- Six weeks of paid parental leave for moms and dads after birth, adoption, or foster placement.
- New fertility support benefit for covered employees, spouses and partners.
- One-time $25,000 adoption assistance benefit for full-time employees.
- Student debt relief program to help pay down student debt.
A Unum survey among more than 400 employers in June 2020 found 44% of companies plan to expand paid leave benefits in 2021. For more information on how to plan or enhance your company’s paid leave strategy, download the Future of Leave guide.
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